Carmelo Anthony fit right in and James Harden and Chris Paul picked up right where they left off.

The Houston Rockets’ offense looks like it will keep on rolling.

Anthony scored 13 points in his Rockets debut, Harden and Paul both had at least 20, and Houston beat Memphis 131-115 on Tuesday night.

Elsewhere, LeBron James remained winless with the Lakers and Cleveland won its first game since he left in a five-game night in the NBA.

Anthony started and played 23 minutes in the game in Birmingham, Alabama. He made three 3-pointers and offered a “my bad” to the Houston bench on his other basket, a long 2-pointer. The Rockets’ offense is based on 3s and layups, with the belief that long 2s are bad shots.

Paul picked up the Rockets way quickly last year and started his second season with them with 22 points, nine assists and five steals. Harden had 20 points and six assists, though the league MVP did commit eight turnovers.


Michael Carter-Williams came off the bench for 19 points in 21 minutes of his Rockets debut. Houston made 21 3-pointers and shot 50 percent from the field.

Jaren Jackson Jr., the No. 4 pick in the draft, made all six shots off the bench for 15 points.

Houston Rockets head coach Mike D’ Antoni talks with referee Haywoode Workman after a foul was called during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game against the Memphis Grizzlies, Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018, in Birmingham, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

ROCKETS: Sixth man Eric Gordon scored 13 points. … Marquese Chriss, a former lottery pick acquired from Phoenix in the trade for Ryan Anderson, was 4 for 4 for 11 points off the bench. … Forward P.J. Tucker didn’t play because of a sore back.

GRIZZLIES: Mike Conley, back from an injury-wrecked 2017-18 season, scored 16 points. … Marc Gasol was just 1 for 7 for two points. … Chandler Parsons and Kyle Anderson each scored 12 points.

UP NEXT: Houston (1-0) hosts Indiana on Thursday. … Memphis (0-1) hosts Atlanta on Friday.


LeBron James scored 13 points in 15 minutes of his Staples Center home debut, but the Nuggets rallied after he departed to beat the Lakers for the second time in three nights.

Mason Plumlee went 11 for 11 and had 23 points for the Nuggets, who outscored the Lakers 65-52 after halftime.

Denver came from 18 down after beating Los Angeles 124-107 in San Diego.

NUGGETS: Nikola Jokic had 20 points, six rebounds and four assists. … Will Barton was 1 for 12 from the field, 0 for 6 from inside the arc. … Malik Beasley scored 13 of his 15 points in the fourth quarter. … Trey Lyles was 4 for 5 and had 12 points and six rebounds in 20 minutes.

Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) tries to dribble through a double team of Memphis Grizzlies forward Kyle Anderson (1) and guard Dillon Brooks (24) during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018, in Birmingham, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

LAKERS: JaVale McGee continued his strong preseason with 15 points, eight rebounds and five blocks. He shot 5 for 8 after going 8 for 10 for 17 points in the first meeting. … Rajon Rondo had 11 points and seven assists. … Josh Hart scored 14 points.

UP NEXT: Denver (2-0) hosts Perth Wildcats on Friday. The Lakers (0-2) host Sacramento on Thursday.


Kevin Love scored all 17 of his points in the first half for Cleveland and Collin Sexton started the second half, scoring 11 of his 15 points after the break.

Marcus Smart had 15 points and Marcus Morris scored 14 for Boston.

The Celtics made a push in the fourth quarter and closed within five in the final minute of Cleveland’s exhibition opener.

CAVALIERS: Cleveland led by as many as 21 in the first half and went into halftime up 59-40. … Sexton was 2 of 3 from 3-point range and 5 of 11 overall from the field. … David Nwaba and Jordan Clarkson added 12 points each.

CELTICS: Kyrie Irving did not play. … First-round pick Robert Williams had six points and four rebounds in nine minutes. … Jaylen Brown added 10 points on 5-of-9 shooting.

Houston Rockets guard James Harden (13) looks to shoot during the second half of a preseason NBA basketball game against the Memphis Grizzlies, Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018, in Birmingham, Ala. Houston Rockets won 131-115. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

UP NEXT: The Cavaliers (1-0) and the Celtics (1-2) travel to Cleveland for a rematch on Saturday.


Kemba Walker had 18 points, six rebounds and five assists, and Willy Hernangomez added 16 points and 10 rebounds for Charlotte.

The Hornets trailed by 14 late in the first half but closed the gap to 63-58 by halftime and outscored the Heat 30-19 in the third quarter.

Kelly Olynyk led the Heat with 18 points and Hassan Whiteside added 14 points and 15 rebounds.

HORNETS: First-round pick Miles Bridges made 2 of 3 from 3-point range and scored 14 points. … Malik Monk checked into the game in first quarter, realized he was not wearing his team jersey when he was buzzed in at the scorer’s table and had to go back into the locker room to suit up.

HEAT: Derrick Jones Jr. left the game with a bruised right shoulder and did not return. … Goran Dragic and Rodney McGruder had 12 points apiece.

UP NEXT: The Heat (0-2) visit the Wizards on Friday. The Hornets (2-1) host the Bulls on Monday.

Memphis Grizzlies guard Mike Conley (11) is fouled by Houston Rockets forward Carmelo Anthony (7) as he goes up for a shot during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game, Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018, in Birmingham, Ala. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)


Joe Ingles made five 3-pointers and scored 24 points and Ricky Rubio added 15 points for Utah.

Jonas Valanciunas had 18 points and nine rebounds, and Kawhi Leonard scored 17 points for Toronto.

The Jazz outscored the Raptors 56-32 in the second half.

JAZZ: Rudy Gobert had 13 points and 10 rebounds and Donovan Mitchell scored 12. … Ingles turned 31 on Tuesday night. “I appreciate everyone coming out for my birthday,” he said during an on-court interview after the game.

RAPTORS: Serge Ibaka scored 11 and Pascal Siakam had 10 points and nine rebounds. … Toronto made 5 of 27 from 3-point range. … Kyle Lowry had seven points on 2-of-8 shooting in 18 minutes.

UP NEXT: The Jazz (2-0) host the Adelaide 36ers on Friday. The Raptors (1-1) host Melbourne United on Friday.


Source: The Associated Press

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