Russell Westbrook made his Washington Wizards debut. Nikola Vucevic pushed Orlando out to a fast start against the Charlotte Hornets.
And, the Atlanta Hawks won a free-throw shooting contest against the Memphis Grizzlies in which 59 fouls were called.
In the last night of the NBA preseason, Westbrook played his first game for Washington after coming over from Houston in the John Wall trade and got hot near the end of the first quarter, hitting a layup, a 15-footer and a 22-footer to give the Wizards a 31-27 lead.
Westbrook, a former MVP and nine-time all star, did not play in the second half, as was planned before the game. He sat out the first two Wizards preseason games to rest.
Vucevic, an All-Star in 2019, had a shooting touch early, scoring 11 points as the Magic jumped out to a 27-11 lead. The game nearly got away from Orlando in the fourth quarter as Charlotte opened the period on an 18-0 run.
WIZARDS 99, PISTONS 96
At Washington, Westbrook finished with eight points in 17 minutes, Thomas Bryant scored 22 and Bradley Beal added 15 for the Wizards.
Jerami Grant and Derrick Rose each scored 14 for the Pistons. Josh Jackson had 13 points, and Detroit got 11 apiece from Blake Griffin, Killian Hayes and Sviatoslav Mykhailiuk.
In the first half, Detroit committed 15 turnovers that led to 17 points for Washington, but had just five miscues in the second. The Wizards led by 14 at halftime.
The Pistons tied it at 89-all on Mykhailiuk’s dunk, and the Wizards called timeout before Jerome Robinson and Troy Brown Jr. each hit a 3 to push the Washington’s lead to 95-89.
Washington, which was missing forward Rui Hachimura due to an eye irritation, scored 40 points in the paint.
MAGIC 120, HORNETS 117
At Orlando, Charlotte started the fourth quarter hot and took a 96-94 lead on Caleb Martin’s 3-pointer. Chuma Okeke and Michael Carter-Williams hit consecutive layups to put Orlando up 111-107, but Malik Monk hit a basket and Javin DeLaurier made a 3 to give the Hornets a 115-111 lead.
Devin Cannady’s 3 and Cole Anthony’s floater put the Magic up 118-117 with 14.1 seconds remaining. Anthony followed with a pair of free throws, and Charlotte’s Xavier Sneed missed a 3 at the buzzer.
Vucevic finished with 18 points and 12 rebounds, Anthony scored 19 points and Aaron Gordon had 20 to lead Orlando. Markelle Fultz and Evan Fournier each added 11 points.
Devonte’ Graham scored 25 points and Terry Rozier chipped in with 24 points for the Hornets.
The Magic were hoping to use the game as an opportunity to play better defence . They allowed an average of 117 in four preseason games.
Charlotte forward Gordon Hayward missed the game with a finger fracture and hopes to be ready for the season opener.
The teams combined for 35 3-pointers.
HAWKS 117, GRIZZLIES 116
At Memphis, Brandon Goodwin gave the Hawks their first lead of the game with a 14-footer that made it 111-109 with 2:02 remaining. The Hawks never trailed the rest of the way.
Memphis led by as many as 19 on De’Anthony Melton’s 3 with 5:36 left in the third. Atlanta pulled within six early in the third on Trae Young’s floater, but that was as close as the Hawks could get until Solomon Hill hit a short jumper to cap a 16-0 run and make it 105-all with 4:02 remaining.
Sean McDermott’s tip-in put the Grizzlies up 109-107, and Nathan Knight followed with a layup for Atlanta to make it 109-all with 2:28 left.
Brandon Clarke’s free throws put the Grizzlies up 98-83 early in the fourth.
Danilo Gallinari led the Hawks with 19 points. Cam Reddish added 18 and John Collins 15. Trae Young finished with 12 points on 4-for-12 shooting.
Dillon Brooks, shaking off a knee injury that had him listed as questionable before the game, scored 14 of his 17 points in the first half for Memphis.
Ja Morant added 15 points, De’Anthony Melton 14 and Grayson Allen 13 for the Grizzlies.
The Hawks outscored Memphis 36-29 at the line.
More AP NBA: https://apnews.com/NBA and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports
The Associated Press