NEW ORLEANS — Jusuf Nurkic had 23 points and nine rebounds, and Will Barton added 22 points to foil a 50-point effort by Anthony Davis and lift the Denver Nuggets to a 107-102 season-opening victory over the New Orleans Pelicans on Wednesday.
Davis shot 17 of 34 from the field and made 16 of 17 free throws. He also grabbed 16 rebounds, blocked four shots and had seven steals. It was Davis’ eighth career 40-plus-point game.
The Nuggets won despite committing 25 turnovers.
The Pelicans closed within six points three times in the fourth quarter, but the Nuggets answered each time. Kenneth Faried was a key stopper, drawing two charges and grabbing a tough offensive rebound for a rebound follow. He also assisted on a three-point play by Wilson Chandler that put Denver up 94-85 with 7:09 left.
Celtics 122, Nets 117
BOSTON — Boston held off a furious Brooklyn charge and escaped with an opening-game victory, spoiling the head-coaching debut of the Nets’ Kenny Atkinson. Brooklyn was down 21 points with 5 1/2 minutes left, and after the Boston starters re-entered the game, cut the deficit down to three in the final minute. However, Bojan Bogdanovich missed back-to-back 3-pointers on the same possession, and Isaiah Thomas iced the game with two free throws with 11.9 seconds left.
Thomas led all scorers with 25 points and added nine assists and six rebounds, while Jae Crowder scored 21 points and Avery
Bradley had 17 points, nine rebounds and five assists. Bogdanovich led the Nets with 21 points.
Heat 108, Magic 96
ORLANDO — Hassan Whiteside had 18 points, 14 rebounds and four blocked shots, leading Miami past Orlando.
It was the sixth consecutive season-opening victory for Miami and its first victory without star guard Dwyane Wade, who left for the Chicago Bulls during the offseason.
Justise Winslow had 15 points and eight rebounds for the Heat. Goran Dragic contributed 16 points and five assists.
Magic guard Evan Fournier led all scorers with 20 points, but he made only 7 of 19 shots from the field. Nikola Vucevic had 17 points and 14 rebounds.
Pacers 130, Mavericks 121 (OT)
INDIANAPOLIS — Myles Turner had 30 points and 16 rebounds, including a crucial 3-pointer with 1:21 remaining in overtime, leading Indiana to a season-opening victory over Dallas.
Paul George, who finished with 25 points, added a 3-pointer with 52 seconds left in overtime, pushing the Indiana lead to 125-118. Jeff Teague added 20 points and Monta Ellis 19 for the Pacers.
Deron Williams led Dallas with 25 points, and Dirk Nowitzki and J.J, Barea each scored 22.
Grizzlies 102, Timberwolves 98
MEMPHIS — Mike Conley scored 24 points, and Memphis defeated Minnesota in the season opener for both teams.
Timberwolves guard Zach LaVine (19 points) hit a 3-pointer with 14 seconds left to close the gap to 98-96, but Minnesota would not get closer as Conley and JayMichal Green sealed the win for Memphis at the foul line.
Minnesota’s Andrew Wiggins led all scorers with a 25 points and seven rebounds, and Karl-Anthony Towns scored 21 points. Memphis’ Zach Randolph had 19 points and 11 rebounds off the bench, while Marc Gasol scored 18 points.
Raptors 109, Pistons 91
TORONTO — DeMar DeRozan set a franchise record for points on opening night with 40 as Toronto topped Detroit. DeRozan finished 17 for 27 from the field and went a perfect 6 for 6 from the line.
Jonas Valanciunas added 32 points and 11 rebounds for the Raptors, while Kyle Lowry had 10 points, eight assists and five rebounds. Tobias Harris led the Pistons with 22 points and five rebounds. Marcus Morris chipped in 17 points and nine rebounds in the loss. Andre Drummond got into foul trouble early and finished with 16 points and six rebounds.
Hornets 107, Bucks 96
MILWAUKEE — Michael Kidd-Gilchrist scored 23 points and grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds in his return to action, leading Charlotte to a season-opening victory over Milwaukee.
Kidd-Gilchrist appeared in just seven games last season and hadn’t played since Feb. 10 because of surgery on his right shoulder. However, he showed no signs of rust, hitting 10 of 18 shots in 35 minutes.
Hornets power forward Cody Zeller, sidelined all preseason with a bone bruise in his right knee, returned to score 15 points on 5-of-6 shooting in 13 minutes. Milwaukee got a game-high 31 points from Giannis Antetokounmpo.
Thunder 103, 76ers 97
PHILADELPHIA — Russell Westbrook scored nine of his 32 points in the last 4:09, including the go-ahead free throws with 35 seconds left, as the Oklahoma City beat Philadelphia in the season opener for both teams.
Westbrook, who also had 12 rebounds and nine assists, snapped a 97-97 tie by connecting twice at the line.
The Thunder, who trailed by six with 6:17 left and four with 4:16 to play, spoiled the NBA debut of Philadelphia center Joel Embiid, who finished with 20 points and seven rebounds. Embiid, the third overall pick in the 2014 draft, missed the past two seasons as a result of two foot surgeries.
Lakers 120, Rockets 114
LOS ANGELES — Jordan Clarkson came off the bench to score 25 points, and Los Angeles tipped off the Luke Walton era with a season-opening win over Houston. D’Angelo Russell added 20 points, while Julius Randle chipped in 18 points, seven rebounds and six assists for the Lakers, who made a winner of Walton in his debut as head coach.
Rockets guard James Harden finished with a game-high 34 points and a career-best 17 assists. Harden also had eight rebounds. Eric Gordon contributed 19 points, Clint Capela scored 16 and grabbed nine rebounds, and Ryan Anderson finished with 14 for the Rockets.
Kings 113, Suns 94
PHOENIX — DeMarcus Cousins scored 24 points, and Sacramento opened the season with a strong win over Phoenix.
Rudy Gay added 22 points for the Kings, who ended the first quarter on a 16-1 run and never led by less than 10 points the rest of the way. Matt Barnes had 14 points and Garrett Temple contributed 12 for the Kings, who won only 33 games last year.
Devin Booker led Phoenix with 18 points but struggled with foul trouble. Eric Bledsoe had 16 points and forward T.J. Warren added 14 points for the Suns, who showed little life in their home opener until a trio of players making their NBA debuts — guards Marquese Chriss and Tyler Ulis and forward Dragan Bender — helped cut a 26-point deficit to 10 in the second half.