The Los Angeles Lakers continued their stumbling start to a new era with a 100-91 road loss to the Sacramento Kings in Sacramento, California, on Monday as the visitors matched their poorest opening to a campaign for nine years.
Following their fourth--quarter meltdown against the Chicago Bulls on Christmas Day, the Lakers (0-2) were overpowered by the young Kings, leaving new coach Mike Brown still searching for his first victory since taking over in the off-season.
Marcus Thornton scored 12 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter for Sacramento and Tyreke Evans added 20 to cancel out a game-high 29 from Los Angeles’ Kobe Bryant.
The Kings looked fresh in what was their season opener, continually beating the Lakers for pace around the court to build a 14-point advantage through three quarters.
However, Los Angeles woke from their slumber and fought back to trail 89-87 late in the game, but Sacramento used an 8-0 run in the final few minutes to ensure the Lakers lost their first two games of a season for the first time since 2002.
NETS 90, WIZARDS 84
New Jersey’s Kris Humphries finished with 21 points and 16 rebounds to help the Nets overcome a big deficit and beat the Washington Wizards 90-84 on Monday in the NBA season opener for both teams.
Deron Williams had 23 points, eight rebounds and eight assists for New Jersey, which trailed by as much as 21 points in the second quarter, but began to turn things around with a 16-2 run.
Backup shooting guard Nick Young led Washington with 16 points in just 18 minutes. He missed a large part of the second half with a foot injury, but returned.
WARRIORS 99, BULLS 91
In Oakland, California, Stephen Curry had 21 points and 10 assists as Golden State beat Chicago, giving new coach Mark Jackson his first victory.
Monta Ellis scored 26 points for the Warriors, who lost their opening game on Christmas Day.
Luol Deng, whose block sealed Chicago’s season-opening win over the Lakers, had 22 points and 10 rebounds for the Bulls, who trailed by as much as 19 before making a late surge to get within five points with 36.3 seconds remaining.
BOBCATS 96, BUCKS 95
In Charlotte, North Carolina, Charlotte erased a 14-point deficit to beat Minnesota by the narrowest margin.
D.J. Augustin scored 19 points while rookie Kemba Walker added 13, including two free throws with 9.9 seconds remaining.
Brandon Jennings had 22 points for the Bucks.
MAGIC 104, ROCKETS 95
Ir Orlando, Florida, Hedo Turkoglu scored 23 points to lead five Magic players in double figures as Orlando beat Houston.
Orlando got 13 points from Turkoglu and eight points from J.J. Redick in the fourth quarter to help the Magic stave off a handful of second-half charges by the Rockets.
Kyle Lowry had 20 points and 12 assists for Houston, which closed within four in the fourth quarter, but the Magic were able to hit some timely three-pointers late to help secure the victory.
PACERS 91, PISTONS 79
In Indianapolis, Indiana, Roy Hibbert had 16 points and 14 rebounds to help Indiana defeat Detroit.
David West, Indiana’s big free agent addition, had 11 points and 12 rebounds, even though he made just 3 of 12 field goals.
The Pacers shot just 37 percent from the field, but got away with it because they outrebounded the Pistons 53-40. Indiana had 18 offensive rebounds and 14 second-chance points.