Davis, Mirotic power Pelicans to season opening win

Houston Rockets v San Antonio Spurs

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Nichols: Do you feel like if they ask you to come off the bench on a certain night, or if they don't want to close a game with you on a certain night, you can live with that?

The Rockets already have two ball-dominant guards in the starting lineup in Paul and Harden.

Carmelo Anthony's National Basketball Association debut as a reserve on Wednesday night at the Toyota Center was one to forget.

New Orleans underwent some change of their own, bringing in Elfrid Payton to replace Rondo, and snagging Julius Randle to replace Cousins.

Gordon made a basket, and Carter-Williams hit a 3-pointer to start a 16-4 run that pulled the Rockets within 101-84 at the end of the third quarter.

The Rockets begin that journey tonight in their season opener against the Pelicans. Can Anthony Davis stay healthy and lead them to the postseason? He finished with nine points on 3-of-10 shooting in 27 minutes in Houston's 131-112 defeat and, afterward, said he knows he has a long road ahead in adjusting to this new role.

They might not be stars, but the Pelicans have something in both Moore and Payton.

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Anthony didn't sound as adamant about remaining a starter and even spoke at length about it to the Houston Chronicle.

Kawhi Leonard drops 24 points in his first game with the Toronto Raptors.

It was the most points the Rockets had given up in a regulation game during coach Mike D'Antoni's tenure, as Houston last allowed an opponent to score that many points in 48 minutes in a January 17, 2015 loss to the Golden State Warriors, according to ESPN Stats & Information. He is much better in transition and his shot was on in the preseason.

Nuggets 107, Clippers 98: LOS ANGELES - Nikola Jokic scored 21 points, Gary Harris added 20 and the Nuggets opened the season with a victory. George Hill and Jordan Clarkson each added 15 points, and Rodney Hood scored 12.

After the game, Melo described coming off the bench as "challenging mentally". While was a spectacular 13-of-23 shooting from the field for 32 points, 16 rebounds, and eight assists, everyone around him also contributed. The Bucks then held on as Charlotte's Kemba Walker missed a short jumper and Nicolas Batum missed a 3-point attempt at the buzzer. The Western Conference is better than it has been, and the top of the Eastern Conference is damn good, too.

The Lakers tossed aside the project that was Randle with a LeBron James signing looming, and New Orleans scooped him up for two years and $18 million.

The lead stayed at double-digits the rest of the way. The rotation will now feature James Ennis, Michael Carter-Williams, and Marquese Chriss, with Brandon Knight likely to join the fray once when he returns from offseason knee surgery.

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