Bucks beat Rockets, spoiling Westbrook-Harden reunion
HOUSTON (AP) — Giannis Antetokounmpo scored 30 points and had a triple-double before fouling out and his supporting cast held on to lead the Milwaukee Bucks to a 117-111 victory over the Houston Rockets on Thursday night in a star-studded opener featuring the last three MVPs.
Antetokounmpo, the MVP last season, fouled out with about five minutes remaining. He had 13 rebounds and 11 assists.
Brook Lopez made two free throws with about a minute left before a layup by Russell Westbrook. But Lopez made a fadeaway shot to leave Milwaukee up 115-109 with 39 seconds remaining. James Harden added a pair of free throws before Ersan Ilyasova made a jump shot with about 15 seconds to go that sent many fans heading to the exits.
Some had wondered what would happen with the pairing of the two ball-dominant guards in Harden and Westbrook after the 2017 MVP was traded from Oklahoma City for Chris Paul this summer. In their first game together with the Rockets both filled up the stat sheet, but they were unable to come away with a win after leading for much of the game.
Westbrook had 24 points, 16 rebounds and seven assists, Harden, the 2018 MVP, added 19 points, 14 assists and seven rebounds. He was 2 of 13 from the field, 1 of 8 on 3s and made 14 free throws without a miss.
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Kawhi Leonard spoiled the Warriors‘ first game at Chase Center just as he did their farewell at Oracle Arena four months ago, scoring 21 points in three quarters to lead Los Angeles to the win at Golden State’s snazzy new arena.
Reigning NBA Finals MVP Leonard shot 9 for 17 and also dished out nine assists in his second game with L.A.
Stephen Curry scored 23 points and D’Angelo Russell added 20 in his Golden State debut, but the Warriors got beat up the way they used to do it against the entire NBA, even giving up a 46-point third quarter.
Curry, who at 31 is the oldest Warriors player, was 2 of 11 on 3s as Golden State went 15 for 42 from deep.
John Collins added 20 points and 10 rebounds, and Jabari Parker had 18 points. Vince Carter checked in for Atlanta with 6:52 left in the first quarter, becoming the first player to see action in 22 NBA seasons.
Derrick Rose led Detroit with 27 points, and Andre Drummond had 21 points and 12 rebounds. On Wednesday night in Indiana, Drummond had 32 points and 23 rebounds in Detroit’s season-opening victory.