LOS ANGELES – Cleveland guard Collin Sexton scored 32 points, including a layup to force a second overtime Saturday as the Cavaliers beat the Detroit Pistons 128-119 in an NBA thriller.
Andre Drummond added 23 points, Cedi Osman scored 22 off the bench and Darius Garland chipped in 21 as the Cavaliers rallied from a nine-point deficit with 2:15 left in the first overtime.
The Pistons had seized control in the third quarter, when Jerami Grant scored 14 of his 28 points. Blake Griffin scored 26 points and Derrick Rose had 13, but the Pistons — with 24 turnovers leading to 31 Cavaliers points — couldn’t hang on for the win.
It was close in Charlotte, where Oklahoma City’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander drained a game-winning jump shot with 1.4 seconds left in the Thunder’s 109-107 season-opening win over the Hornets.
Oklahoma City — whose scheduled season opener against Houston was postponed when Covid-19 concerns meant the Rockets didn’t have enough players available — led by 13 with less than two minutes to play and held off a Hornets rally to gain the win.
Miles Bridges scored three 3-pointers in the final 25 seconds as the Hornets battled back, knotting the score at 107-107 with 10.3 seconds remaining.
But Gilgeous-Alexander took an inbounds pass and drained a jump shot over Caleb Martin to seal it for the Thunder.
Terry Rozier, who scored 42 points in the Hornets’ season-opening win over Cleveland, led Charlotte with 19 points but couldn’t get his long-range effort at the buzzer to fall.
A triple-double from Russell Westbrook and 39 points for Bradley Beal weren’t enough for the Washington Wizards, who fell 130-120 to the Orlando Magic.
Westbrook joined another elite club with 15 points, 15 rebounds and 12 assists, becoming just the fourth player in NBA history — after Magic Johnson, Jerry Lucas and Oscar Robertson — to post a triple-double in his team’s first two games of a season.
But his home opener for the Wizards, where he landed in a trade from Houston, was another defeat. Terrence Ross led the Magic with 25 points off the bench. Nikola Vucevic scored 22 points and grabbed 17 rebounds and Markelle Fultz added 21 for Orlando.
Philadelphia big man Joel Embiid scored 27 points and grabbed 10 rebounds in the 76ers’ 109-89 victory over the New York Knicks.
Ben Simmons added 15 points, nine rebounds, six assists and a dominant defensive performance as the Sixers improved to 2-0 under new head coach Doc Rivers.
The victory moved Rivers into sole possession of 10th place on the NBA’s all-time wins list, his 945th victory in his 22nd season as a head coach moving him ahead of Bill Fitch.
Atlanta’s Trae Young scored 24 of his 36 points in the second half to lift the Hawks to a 122-112 victory over the Grizzlies in Memphis.
The game was a matchup of rising stars in Young and the Grizzlies’ reigning NBA Rookie of the Year Ja Morant, who led Memphis with 28 points.
But the Hawks’ reserves were the real difference makers, combining for 46 points. That included 30 in the first half as the Hawks starters struggled to find their feet.
Kevin Huerter scored 21 points with four assists off the bench for the Hawks and Nathan Knight scored 14 in less than nine minutes on court as Atlanta improved to 2-0 in the young season.
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