LOS ANGELES (AP) — LeBron James and Russell Westbrook had been on one facet. Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving sat on the opposite.
Secure to say there will not be a greater assortment of benchwarmers in an NBA recreation this season.
Brooklyn and the Los Angeles Lakers kicked off the league’s preseason schedule Sunday, although did so largely with out their largest names within the Nets’ 123-97 victory.
Anthony Davis began for the Lakers and made the primary basket of the preseason. However James, Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony will all wait not less than yet another recreation earlier than getting began.
Brooklyn performed with out its Large Three, together with starters Blake Griffin and Joe Harris, together with newcomers Patty Mills and James Johnson.
Davis performed the primary quarter and scored six factors.
LaMarcus Aldridge began for the Nets after rejoining the crew following his retirement final season after experiencing an irregular heartbeat. He scored six factors in quarter-hour.
Rookie Cam Thomas led the Nets with 21 factors. Bruce Brown added 12 and veteran Paul Millsap, who joined the crew within the offseason, had 10 factors and 10 rebounds.
Malik Monk scored 15 factors in his first recreation with the Lakers. Brooklyn outscored Los Angeles 39-16 within the fourth quarter.
The gathering of names have made each groups among the many favorites for the NBA title. They’re scheduled to fulfill once more on the identical Staples Middle ground because the spotlight of the Christmas schedule and can be on nationwide TV loads of instances.
Each had disappointing postseasons whereas battling accidents. The Nets had been crushed by eventual champion Milwaukee within the second spherical with Irving sidelined and Harden nonetheless hobbled by a hamstring damage that had value him a pair video games within the sequence. The Lakers fell within the first spherical to Phoenix with Davis making it by way of simply 5 minutes of the clincher after lacking all of Recreation 5 with a groin damage.
That probably factored into Nets coach Steve Nash and the Lakers’ Frank Vogel — whose crew was taking part in within the NBA Finals only a yr in the past at the moment — deciding to attend a bit longer to play their prime gamers after coaching camps solely opened Tuesday.
Most groups will start Monday on a nine-game evening.
Nash stated after the sport he had no replace on Irving’s standing when the Nets return to Brooklyn for apply this week. Gamers a lot be vaccinated to play or apply in New York and Irving did not be a part of his teammates at Barclays Middle for media day on Monday earlier than they flew to San Diego for coaching camp. He appeared by Zoom and requested for privateness when requested about his vaccination standing.
Dwight Howard, who performed on the Lakers’ 2020 champions and has returned to Los Angeles after taking part in final season for Philadelphia, had an eventful afternoon. He had 11 factors, six rebounds, a technical foul and a flagrant foul earlier than fouling out in 13 minutes. He shot a free throw after selecting up his sixth foul earlier than referees corrected the error and took the purpose off the board.
Extra AP NBA: https://apnews.com/hub/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This materials might not be revealed, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.