Dwight Howard's 33 points and 14 rebounds were not enough for the Los Angeles Lakers in a 116-106 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers in...
PORTLAND — Dwight Howard’s 33 points and 14 rebounds were not enough for the Los Angeles Lakers in a 116-106 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers in their season debut Wednesday night.
Nicolas Batum had 26 points and the Blazers led by as many as 19 in handing the Lakers their second straight loss to open the season. Damian Lillard, the sixth overall pick in the June draft, had 22 points and 11 assists in his NBA debut for Portland.
The Lakers’ troubles were compounded by the loss of guard Steve Nash to a bruised left leg.
Nash, acquired by the Lakers this summer, collided with Lillard in the first half and limped to the locker room. Although the team initially reported he was fine, Nash struggled when he returned for the second half and left the game for good.
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Kobe Bryant had 30 points for the Lakers.
Harden gets $80M,
scores 37 points
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. — James Harden agreed to a big new contract extension — and he certainly looked worth it in his first game with the Houston Rockets.
Harden had 37 points and 12 assists in a stirring debut for his new team to lift the Rockets to a 105-96 victory over the Detroit Pistons.
Detroit led 83-72 early in the fourth, but Harden and Carlos Delfino brought the Rockets back. Houston acquired Harden on Saturday in a trade with Oklahoma City and he agreed before the game to an $80 million, five-year contract extension.
Jeremy Lin, Houston’s other big acquisition, had 12 points and eight assists.
Brooklyn opener postponed
NEW YORK — The Brooklyn Nets’ home opener against the New York Knicks on Thursday was postponed because of Superstorm Sandy, delaying the first regular-season game at the $1 billion Barclays Center.
It has not yet been rescheduled. The first game at the arena will be Saturday against the Toronto Raptors.
• The Memphis Grizzlies exercised the fourth-year option on swingman Quincy Pondexter, keeping the former Huskies star under contract through the 2013-14 season. The 6-foot-6, 225-pound Pondexter averaged 4.2 points and 2.0 rebounds in 15.7 minutes last season for Memphis.
• Former Husky Spencer Hawes had 16 points and 12 rebounds to lead the host Philadelphia 76ers to an 84-75 victory over the Denver Nuggets. Hawes had a crowd of nearly 20,000 fans chanting “Spen-cer Hawes!” in the fourth quarter after he turned back the Nuggets with a string of big baskets and blocked shots. He finished with five blocked shots.
• Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry signed a $44 million, four-year contract extension that will keep him with the team through the 2016-17 season.
• Jrue Holiday signed a $41 million, four-year extension with the Philadelphia 76ers.
• Taj Gibson agreed to a $38 million, four-year contract extension with the Chicago Bulls.
• The Memphis Grizzlies officially changed owners. “The Grizzlies are here to stay in Memphis,” new chairman Robert J. Pera said. His group bought the team for a reported $377 million.