Kawhi Leonard had 31 points and 10 rebounds, Serge Ibaka added 21 points and the Toronto Raptors beat the Boston Celtics 113-101 on Friday night in an early matchup between Eastern Conference contenders.
DeMar DeRozan had 28 points in his San Antonio debut, LaMarcus Aldridge added 21 points and 19 rebounds and the Spurs overcame a 23-point performance by Minnesota’s Jimmy Butler in a 112-108 victory Wednesday night in a matchup of teams coming off a tumultuous offseason.
Stephen Curry had 32 points, nine assists and eight rebounds, Kevin Durant added 27 points, eight rebounds and six assists, and the Golden State Warriors opened their quest for a three-peat by holding off the Oklahoma City Thunder 108-100 on Tuesday night.
Just like last season, Jimmy Butler and the Minnesota Timberwolves traveled to San Antonio for their opener. After all the disruption caused by Butler’s trade request that became public a week before training camp began, no deal has been made. So the four-time All-Star will be on the court with his Timberwolves teammates when they take on the Spurs.
Vince Carter almost feels like a rookie on opening day, which is why he’s still playing in the NBA at age 41. The player once known as “Vinsanity” is heading into his 21st season as sort of a player-coach for the Atlanta Hawks, a rebuilding team that hopes Carter’s influence will wear off on all their young players. Only three players have played this long in the NBA, and no one has ever made it to Year No. 22.
The NBA champion Warriors will try to defend their title in their last season at Oracle Arena. Next season, they move into Chase Center in San Francisco. The Warriors’ pending move comes amid a recent spate of upgrades for NBA franchises, including in Milwaukee, Minnesota, Sacramento and Atlanta. If anybody understands an arena’s link to a city Kevin Durant does. He played the final NBA game in KeyArena for the Seattle SuperSonics before the franchise’s relocation to Oklahoma City.
WNBA All-Star Kristi Toliver will be an assistant coach for player development for the NBA’s Washington Wizards this season. Toliver’s job was one of several changes to coach Scott Brooks’ staff announced by the Wizards two days before they host the Miami Heat to open the season.
Opening night last year delivered a good forecast of how the NBA season would turn out. The four teams who played ended up the last four standing in the 2017-18 season. That could be the case again. Golden State and Boston are both in action Tuesday in the opening doubleheader, and might be playing each other when the season ends.
The NBA’s 73rd season starts Tuesday night, beginning a year where LeBron James will play for the Los Angeles Lakers, where Carmelo Anthony will aim to push the Houston Rockets over the top, where Dwyane Wade will take his 16th and final lap around the league. A new arena is opening in Milwaukee, eight teams will have new coaches, and everyone will be looking to see if the Warriors can win a third straight title.
Today, through the magnanimous support of Nike, Sprite, Kia Motors, Blaze Pizza and Beats by Dre, we are able to bring you a LeBron James-free preview of the impending NBA season.
Tex Winter, the innovative “Triangle Offense” pioneer who assisted Phil Jackson on NBA championship teams with the Chicago Bulls and Los Angeles Lakers, has died. He was 96. Kansas State University said Winter died in Manhattan.
Dejounte Murray was driving past James Harden and on his way to the basket, showing one of the skills that made the San Antonio Spurs convinced he’s the right point guard for their team. And then Murray’s knee gave out.
Kevin Durant got nostalgic when he came out for player introductions wearing green-and-gold sneakers and an old-school No. 40 Shawn Kemp jersey before addressing the soldout crowd that also wore Sonics gear.
Training camps for most NBA teams open Tuesday, and with the season fast approaching, Jimmy Butler’s situation in Minnesota is among 10 items of note as the league heads into the 2018-19 campaign.
There were some Larry O’Brien trophies on display at Golden State’s media day on Monday, shiny golden reminders of the three championships that the Warriors have picked up over the past four years. Their quest for another is about to begin. So will the quest by 29 other teams to thwart them.
A person with knowledge of the negotiations says Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns is getting a $190 million extension from the Wolves. The deal comes as the Timberwolves are working to resolve the future of Jimmy Butler, who wants to be traded. Towns’ extension is of the “super-max” variety, a five-year deal.
The Philadelphia 76ers have hired Elton Brand as general manager. The 39-year-old Brand is only two years out of the league. The Sixers are confident Brand can help steady a front office rocked by an offseason disaster that saw former GM Bryan Colangelo leave the organization.
Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban has agreed to contribute $10 million to women’s causes and domestic violence awareness as part of the NBA’s investigation into workplace conditions at his franchise. The league also says it will require staffing, reporting and policy changes for the Mavericks. Some of the changes have already been made. Seven months ago, Sports Illustrated detailed examples of a hostile workplace for women on the business side of the Mavericks’ operation.
Dwyane Wade’s Hall of Fame career is not over yet. Wade has decided to return to the Miami Heat and play a 16th NBA season, making his announcement Sunday night. Wade spent the last 2
Thunder All-Star guard Russell Westbrook underwent an arthroscopic procedure on his right knee. That puts his availability for the season opener on Oct. 16 against the Golden State Warriors in doubt. The team says Westbrook decided after suffering inflammation in the knee this past weekend that he’d have the procedure. He averaged 25.4 points, a league-leading 10.3 assists and 10.1 rebounds last season.
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