Lakers fall to Rockets with Bryant and Howard involved in exchange…
The San Antonio Spurs were able to edge out the Dallas Mavericks at the AT&T Center on Tuesday night to get their season off to a winning start.
The night began with the traditional ring ceremony and banner raising for the defending champions, but as expected they were put through a tough test by their Western Conference rivals who came to play.
Monta Ellis ended the game with 26 points while Dirk Nowitzki and Tyson Chandler produced key moments, but the Spurs had just about enough to secure the 101-100 win.
Tony Parker scored 23 points and added three assists and three rebounds apiece in an impressive performance which included some clutch shots down the stretch, while Manu Ginobili had a huge effect off the bench with 20 points.
Tim Duncan added 14 points and 13 rebounds for his 14th double-double in a season opener but the hosts did survive a late scare with Chandler Parsons missing a 3-pointer with 0.4 seconds remaining which would have won the game for the Mavs.
Elsewhere, the Houston Rockets made no mistake against the Los Angeles Lakers in a 108-90 victory at the Staples Center.
However, there was controversy and further bad news for the Lakers with Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard becoming involved in a late scuffle while first-round Draft pick Julius Randle sustained a broken leg to extend the injury curse in LA.
The tension between Howard and the Lakers bench started prior to tip-off while the Staples Center faithful made their feelings clear towards the center throughout. Nevertheless, he will be pleased to have come away with the victory.
In the only other game of the night, Anthony Davis put up 26 points, 17 rebounds and nine blocks in a sensational performance to start the season, with the New Orleans Pelicans going on to win 101-84 against the Orlando Magic.
Nikola Vucevic had 15 points and a staggering 23 rebounds for the visitors, but it wasn’t enough to deny Davis and the Pelicans with the NBA rising star narrowly missing out on a triple-double to get the campaign underway.
Dallas Mavericks 100-101 San Antonio Spurs
Houston Rockets 108-90 Los Angeles Lakers
Orlando Magic 84-101 New Orleans Pelicans