An overwhelming defensive effort powered the host Chicago Bulls to their first 3-0 start in five years after a 97-82 win over the Detroit Pistons on Saturday.
The Bulls held the Pistons to just 15 points in the second quarter, then 11 in the third, to build a commanding lead despite enduring their own shooting woes.
Chicago shot just 35-of-84 (41.7 percent) from the floor, including 6-of-18 from Zach LaVine on a 14-point night. Chicago compensated for the quiet night from its star scorer with a balanced performance. Six Bulls scored in double figures, led by DeMar DeRozan’s game-high 21 points.
Detroit compounded its turnover issues with a woeful 34-of-88 (38.6 percent) shooting performance from the field, including 5-of-28 from beyond the 3-point arc. Trey Lyles made three of the Pistons’ 3-pointers, providing some spark off the bench and finishing with 12 points.
Lyles was one of only three Pistons to score in double-figures, joining Kelly Olynyk with 10 points and Saddiq Bey with a team-high 20. Bey also grabbed 16 rebounds.
Cavaliers 101, Hawks 95
Ricky Rubio scored 23 points and lifted Cleveland to its first win of the season, a victory over visiting Atlanta.
Rubio was 9-for-15 from the field, including three 3-pointers, and added six rebounds and eight assists to help the Cavs stop their season-opening two-game losing streak. The Cavs have won six of their last seven against the Hawks in Cleveland.
Atlanta suffered through a poor shooting night and made only 10 of 34 from deep. Trae Young scored 24 points — 15 in the first half — but was only 1-for-6 from 3-point range and had trouble getting his famed floater to fall. Cam Reddish came off the bench to score 19.
Bucks 121, Spurs 111
Khris Middleton scored 28 points, among all five starters in double figures, as Milwaukee played its best in the final quarter to beat weary host San Antonio.
The game was the second of a road-home back-to-back for the Spurs, who flew home early Saturday morning after a loss in Denver on Friday. Doug McDermott paced the Spurs with 25 points, Keldon Johnson scored 20 and Lonnie Walker IV added 17.
Giannis Antetokounmpo added 21 points for the Bucks, who rebounded from a blowout loss in Miami on Thursday to move to 2-1. Jrue Holiday and Pat Connaughton hit for 16 points each.
Mavericks 103, Raptors 95
Luka Doncic compiled 27 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds as visiting Dallas defeated Toronto.
Tim Hardaway Jr. added 25 points — 13 in the fourth quarter — for the Mavericks, who won for the first time this season after losing their opener at Atlanta on Thursday. Kristaps Porzingis scored 18 points and grabbed 10 rebounds for Dallas, and Dwight Powell and Dorian Finney-Smith each scored 11 points.
Toronto’s OG Anunoby scored 23 points, 20 in the first half as he ran into foul trouble. Fred VanVleet had 20 points for the Raptors, who lost for the second time in three games. Scottie Barnes had 17 points, Gary Trent Jr. scored 12 points and Precious Achiuwa added 10 points and 12 rebounds.
Pacers 102, Heat 91 (OT)
Rookie Chris Duarte turned a foul on a 3-point shot into three critical free throws in overtime as Indiana gave coach Rick Carlisle his first win at his new job with a victory over visiting Miami.
After losing a pair of one-point games on the road, including one in overtime at Washington on Friday on the front end of a back-to-back, the Pacers had enough energy to outscore Miami 16-5 over the five extra minutes to break into the win column.
Oshae Brissett’s follow shot at the 3:48 mark of overtime gave the Pacers a lead they never relinquished.
Timberwolves 96, Pelicans 89
Karl-Anthony Towns scored a team-high 25 points, Anthony Edwards finished with 19 points and nine rebounds, and Minnesota held on for a win over visiting New Orleans.
D’Angelo Russell and Naz Reid added 12 points apiece for Minnesota, which won its second game in a row to start the season. Patrick Beverley scored five points and dished six assists in his Timberwolves debut.
Brandon Ingram scored 30 points for the Pelicans, who remained winless after three games. Jonas Valanciunas had 20 points and 17 rebounds, and Nickeil Alexander-Walker also notched a double-double with 14 points and 14 boards.
Grizzlies 120, Clippers 114
Ja Morant took his high-flying act on the road, as visiting Memphis ran past Los Angeles.
Morant finished with 28 points and eight assists as the Grizzlies improved to 2-0 this season. The Clippers dropped to 0-2 in losing their home opener. De’Anthony Melton added 22 points and seven rebounds, while Jaren Jackson Jr. contributed 21 points and seven rebounds. Steven Adams posted 17 points and nine boards.
Paul George paced the Clippers with game highs of 41 points and 10 rebounds, and he added four assists. Reggie Jackson got back on track with 17 points against the Grizzlies.
Blazers 134, Suns 105
CJ McCollum scored 28 points, including knocking down six 3-pointers, and host Portland cruised past Phoenix.
McCollum scored the first five points of a 10-0 run to start the second quarter, with Norman Powell netting the next five, and the Blazers built a lead that stayed in double digits for the rest of the night.
Every Trail Blazers player scored, and five reached double digits. Powell scored 16 points in 12 minutes, Damian Lillard scored 19 points to go with eight assists, and Anfernee Simons came off the bench to knock down four 3-pointers and finished with 18 points.
–Field Level Media