NBA opening week takeaways: Knicks outlast Celtics in double-overtime; LaMelo Ball places on a present

The opening week of the 2021-22 NBA season continued in fashion on Wednesday night time with various outstanding video games, together with the New York Knicks’ double-overtime win over the Boston Celtics and the Charlotte Hornets’ 23-point comeback to take down the Indiana Pacers. In a while, the Sacramento Kings held on to beat the Portland Path Blazers regardless of a frantic end. 

There have been quite a lot of spectacular particular person efforts as effectively, reminiscent of Jaylen Brown going for 46 factors, 9 rebounds and 6 assists, Ja Morant dropping 37 factors, six rebounds and 6 assists and LaMelo Ball ending with 31 factors, 9 rebounds and 7 assists. Elsewhere, Zach LaVine scored 34 factors, Karl-Anthony Cities and Anthony Edwards mixed for put 59 factors and 15 rebounds and Harrison Barnes poured in 36 of his personal. 

To get you caught up on all of the motion, listed here are some takeaways from Wednesday night time:

Knicks outduel Celtics in a double-overtime prompt traditional

The New York Knicks and Boston Celtics first performed one another again in 1946, and have met tons of of instances within the 75 years since then. It is protected to say only a few of these matchups may examine to Wednesday night time’s prompt traditional, which the Knicks received 138-134. 

Boston had management for a lot of regulation and led by as a lot as 12 earlier than faltering early within the fourth quarter. As New York constructed an 11-point lead of their very own within the fourth, it appeared they might coast to an opening-night win. As a substitute, the Celtics pulled off an unimaginable comeback to ship the sport to additional time because of last-second 3-pointers from Jaylen Brown and Marcus Good, the latter of which was on the buzzer. 

Because the groups battled by means of exhaustion within the additional frames, the sport was there for both of them to win. Ultimately, the Knicks pulled it out after Evan Fournier hit a go-ahead triple within the closing minute. He completed with 32 factors, which was essentially the most ever by a Knicks participant of their debut for the staff. 

Brown went for a career-high 46 factors, 9 rebounds, six assists and three steals, setting a document by essentially the most factors ever by a Celtics participant in a gap night time sport. Sadly, it was all for naught, partly as a result of Brown missed a wide-open breakaway dunk within the second additional time that might have put the Celtics up by three. 

LaMelo stars in thriller

Reigning Rookie of the 12 months LaMelo Ball picked up proper the place he left off, going for 31 factors, 9 rebounds, seven assists and two steals because the Charlotte Hornets snuck previous the Indiana Pacers 123-122 in an unimaginable sport. Down by as a lot as 23, the Hornets stormed again with a 24-0 run within the third quarter to get again within the sport, and finally received because of some last-second free throws by PJ Washington.

Ball was instrumental in that third-quarter comeback. Between his personal baskets and assists, he accounted for 16 of the Hornets’ 24 factors in that massive run. At one level he was even receiving “M-V-P” chants from the followers in Charlotte. “I heard it,” LaMelo mentioned. “The town turnt. I adore it.”

Morant has highlight-reel night time in Grizzlies’ win

Ja Morant is without doubt one of the most electrifying gamers within the league, and he confirmed precisely why within the Memphis Grizzlies’ opening-night win over the Cleveland Cavaliers. Morant completed with 37 factors, six rebounds, six assists and highlight-reel performs on each ends of the ground.

First, on the very finish of the primary half, Morant raced again in transition and bought manner as much as swat away Lauri Markkanen’s shot. For those who’re holding monitor at house, Morant is 6-foot-3, whereas Markkanen stands seven ft tall. 

Then, on the opposite facet of the break, Morant confirmed off his athleticism once more by hovering for an alley-oop. At first, it appeared the move was going to be too far behind him, however he prolonged his arm manner again behind his head, caught it with one hand and threw it down. 

Wolves’ younger stars have thrilling night time

Minnesota Timberwolves followers have not had quite a bit to cheer about over the previous couple of years, and former president of basketball operations Gersson Rosas leaving the franchise below contentious circumstances a couple of weeks earlier than the season began actually did not assist the vibes. 

However on Wednesday night time they bought a lift from their two younger stars, Karl-Anthony Cities and Anthony Edwards. The duo was terrific because the Wolves dispatched the Houston Rockets, combining for 59 factors, 16 rebounds and 5 assists. Sure, it was only one sport, and sure, it was towards the Rockets. Nonetheless, this was an thrilling night time. And if Cities and Edwards preserve taking part in like this, there may very well be extra to come back. 

Additionally, shoutout to Edwards for having arguably the most effective second of the night time when he drained a 3-pointer late within the first half and turned to the Rockets bench to inform them to name a timeout. “I used to be tellin’ the coach to name a rattling timeout,” Edwards mentioned. “You want a timeout. I am sizzling.”

LaVine will get new-look Bulls off to successful begin

The Chicago Bulls are virtually a model new staff after their busy offseason which included including DeMar DeRozan, Lonzo Ball and Alex Caruso. There’s extra pleasure concerning the Bulls than there was in a few years, however analysts are cut up on whether or not or not the entire proficient gamers on their roster goes to suit collectively. 

A gap-night win over the Pistons did not precisely reply too many questions. It was a combined efficiency through which they trailed for big stretches, and wish an enormous run on the finish of the fourth quarter to get a end result. One particular constructive, although, was Zach LaVine. He went for 34 factors on 11 of 17 from the sphere, and added seven factors and 4 assists. Eight of these factors got here within the fourth, together with various clutch free throws to seal the win. 

Barnes units new career-high

To the extent that folks take note of him in any respect now that he is on the Sacramento Kings, Harrison Barnes will get a foul rap as a result of followers really feel he is been overpaid all through his profession. But regardless of that repute, he is quietly a really productive participant. 

He proved as a lot on Wednesday, as he led the Kings to a powerful highway win over the Portland Path Blazers, 124-121. Barnes knocked down a career-high eight 3-pointers en path to 36 factors, which had been additionally a career-best. If the Kings hope to finish their 15-year playoff drought, they will want Barnes’ to ship extra performances like this. 

Duarte goes for 27 in NBA debut

Chris Duarte will not be one of many greatest names on this rookie class, however at 24 years outdated he is without doubt one of the most skilled. That is why many thought the No. 13 general choose would have the ability to contribute immediately, and it seems these projections are going to be right. 

In his very first NBA sport, Duarte scored 27 factors on 9-for-15 from the sphere and 6-for-9 from 3-point land and grabbed 5 rebounds. Whereas his efficiency, sadly, got here in defeat, because the Pacers misplaced a heartbreaker to the Hornets, it was an important signal for the Pacers. They’re going to want extra of these efforts from Duarte, particularly within the brief time period as they cope with quite a few accidents. 

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