Finally: The preseason winds down, and regular season awaits
Let the (real) games begin.
The NBA preseason finales were Friday night, the end of a two-week slate of exhibitions featuring more than 500 players — from 18-year-old Josh Primo in San Antonio, to 41-year-old Udonis Haslem in Miami — and some relatively unusual events.
— A game in Memphis between the Grizzlies and Milwaukee was stopped after three quarters because a fire alarm went off and sprinklers came on.
— The Golden State Warriors attempted 69 shots from 3-point range in one game, a preseason record and what would have been one shy of the NBA’s single-game mark.
— The Dallas Mavericks led the Charlotte Hornets by 70 points earlier this week, on the same night that Phoenix’s 45-point lead over Portland seemed tiny by comparison.
— The Los Angeles Lakers went 0-6, the worst preseason record by any team since the Mavericks went 0-7 in 2015. It didn’t matter much that season; Dallas made the playoffs, and nobody would reasonably expect that a winless slate of exhibitions means anything to the Lakers’ chances.
“You don’t want to go winless,” Lakers coach Frank Vogel said. “You want to get a couple wins along the way, just to feel what that’s like. That’s the name of the game. We’re here to win basketball games. But at the end of the day, it’s really about the practice work that we’re putting in. These are practice games where you’re working on things and building rhythm and timing.”
Most of those anomalies, if not all of them, will be forgotten soon enough. They all happened, but none of them count.
Rosters will be finalized over the next few days, a process that has already started with teams in some cases waiving players with the hope of getting them to their G League affiliate. There are no games on Saturday, Sunday or Monday, and then the Bucks get their rings from Commissioner Adam Silver on Tuesday night before opening the regular season in Milwaukee against the Brooklyn Nets.
KNICKS 115, WIZARDS 113
NEW YORK (AP) – Derrick Rose scored 28 points and Julius Randle’s 21-foot jumper at the buzzer gave New York a preseason-ending win over Washington.
Randle’s winner followed Corey Kispert’s 3-pointer that tied it at 115 with 15 seconds left. Randle finished with 21 points and 10 rebounds.
In an undefeated preseason, Randle and RJ Barrett each average a little more than 30 minutes of action in four games.
Knicks center Mitchell Robinson made his preseason debut, finishing with six points and nine rebounds after an injury-plagued 2020-21 season in which he was limited to 31 games.
Bradley Beal scored five points and sat out the second half with a bruised right knee.
Raul Neto scored 25 for the Wizards (0-4) on 10-for-13 shooting.
HEAT 121, CELTICS 100
MIAMI (AP) — Tyler Herro scored 29 points in 23 minutes and Miami finished off a 5-1 preseason.
Jimmy Butler scored 25 points, Bam Adebayo scored 17, Markieff Morris had 11 and Max Strus finished with 10 for Miami, which trailed by 12 points in the first half. Herro averaged 22.4 points in five preseason appearances; the Heat went 5-0 in those games.
Jayson Tatum led Boston (2-2) with 23 points. Romeo Langford added 18 on 7-of-9 shooting, Dennis Schroder had 13 and former Heat guard Josh Richardson finished with 12 for the Celtics — who were without, among others, Jaylen Brown, Al Horford and Marcus Smart.
CAVALIERS 110, PACERS 94
INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Cedi Osman scored 14 points, Mitch Ballock and Dean Wade each scored 12 and Cleveland beat Indiana despite none of its starters scoring more than five points in limited minutes.
Kevin Love finished with 10 for Cleveland (2-3).
Goga Bitadze scored 18 for Indiana (2-2), and Isaiah Jackson added 12. Domatas Sabonis and Myles Turner each scored 10.
PISTONS 112, 76ERS 108
DETROIT (AP) — Jerami Grant scored 24 points and Detroit (2-2) finished with six players in double figures.
Isaiah Stewart scored 17 points and grabbed 12 rebounds for the Pistons. Josh Jackson finished with 14 points, Frank Jackson scored 13, Saben Lee had 11 and Kelly Olynyk had 10.
Andre Drummond led Philadelphia (2-2) with 17 points. Tyrese Maxey scored 16, Paul Reed had 15 and Isaiah Joe added 14 for the 76ers, who sat Joel Embiid. Ben Simmons did not play.
MAVERICKS 114, BUCKS 103
MILWAUKEE (AP) — Jalen Brunson scored 17 points on 8-for-11 shooting, and Trey Burke scored 14 points as Dallas beat defending champion Milwaukee.
Luka Doncic, Tim Hardaway Jr., and Kristaps Porzingis sat out for Dallas (4-0).
Giannis Antetokounmpo had 26 points and 10 rebounds, and Grayson Allen and Jrue Holiday each scored 13 points for the Bucks.
BULLS 118, GRIZZLIES 105
CHICAGO (AP) — Zach Lavine scored 31 points and Nikola Vucevic added 23 as Chicago wrapped up a perfect preseason with a win over Memphis.
Chicago used a 21-5 run in the final 5:06 in rallying from a 100-97 deficit.
Jaren Jackson Jr. hit seven 3-pointers and scored 29 points for Memphis (3-3).
SPURS 126, ROCKETS 98
SAN ANTONIO (AP) — Dejounte Murray and Derrick White each scored 20 points and San Antonio scored at least 30 points in every quarter in a win over Houston.
The Spurs (3-2) shot 45 for 96 (46.9%), including 15 for 39 (38.5%) from long distance.
Christian Wood had 19 points and 19 rebounds, and Jalen Green and Kevin Porter Jr. each scored 16 points for Houston (1-3). The Rockets missed 64 of 97 shot attempts and made 6 of 33 attempts from 3-point range.
WARRIORS 119, TRAIL BLAZERS 97
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Steph Curry hit seven 3-points and scored 41 points as Golden State closed out a perfect preseason with a win over Portland.
Jordan Poole scored 16 points, and Draymond Green added 10 points and seven assists for Golden State (5-0).
CJ McCollum scored 26 points and Norman Powell 18 for Portland (0-4). Damian Lilliard didn’t play.