Pelicans steam roll past the Nets while Heat lose against the Bulls

(Basketball news) The New Orleans Pelicans buoyed by the return of Zion Williamson steam rolled past the Brooklyn Nets 130-108. For the Pelicans, Williamson returned from a one-year absence with 25 points and nine rebounds as Brandon Ingram scored 28 points and CJ McCollum had 21 for the Pelicans, both of whom finished strong last season and opened impressively in this one while Jonas Valanciunas had 15 points and 13 rebounds. For the Nets, Kevin Durant scored 32 points but was largely a one-man show as Patty Mills had 16 points and Irving managed 15 points from 6-for-19 shooting, going 0 for 6 from 3-point range.Ben Simmons also played his first match for the Nets scoring 7 points. 

“It's like he didn't miss a beat,'' New Orleans coach Willie Green said. ''You just throw the ball to him and watch what he does.''

''Simply playing the game I love that I didn't get to play for a long time just was a breath of fresh air,'' Williamson said.

“It takes time,'' Simmons said. ''Having back surgery and being away from the game for a year there are little things that your mind might tell you to do something, but your body's not wanting to do that.''

''This is a grown man's league and the most physical team wins and New Orleans came into this with an intent to show why they're going to be in the hunt for championships over the next few years,'' Brooklyn's Kyrie Irving said

The Chicago Bulls breezed past the Miami Heat 116-108. For the Bulls, DeRozan scored 28 of his 37 points in the second half as Ayo Dosunmu added 17 points while Nikola Vucevic had 15 points and 17 rebounds for the Bulls, and Goran Dragic added 12 off the Chicago bench. For the Heat, Jimmy Butler scored 24 points and Tyler Herro added 23 for Miami, which got 22 from Max Strus and 12 from Bam Adebayo. The Bulls were without their star man Zach Lavine  because of left knee injury management as he had him in and out of the lineup last season and required surgery in May. 

''Not many guys in this league work as hard as I do,'' said DeRozan,

''His whole routine and what he does in the summer and the grind that he puts himself through, I think prepares him for these situations,'' Bulls coach Billy Donovan said. ''And he takes great care of himself. He's really, really cerebral. He's a smart player.''

''They did everything right. We didn't do too much right,'' Butler said. ''We did a lot of things wrong. They pulled away and we couldn't get the lead back.''

''There's things that we have to clean up defensively just to get back to our identity,'' Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.
The other results were:

Pistons 113 – 109 Magic
Pacers 107 – 114 Wizards
Raptors 108 – 105 Cavaliers
Hawks 117 – 107 Rockets
Grizzlies 115 – 112 Knicks
Timberwolves 115 – 108 Thunder
Spurs 102 – 129 Hornets
Jazz 123 -102 Nuggets
Suns 107 – 105 Mavericks
Kings 108 – 115 Trail Blazers

Also read: Defending champions Warriors beat Lakers while Celtics defeat 76ers


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