Jeremy Lin’s Houston Rockets won a squeaker over the Western Conference Champions Oklahoma City Thunder, and a Kobe Bryant-less Los Angeles Lakers team fell to the Portland Trail Blazers, Wednesday (Thursday, PHL time), in NBA preseason action.
In Detroit, a lay-up by Andre Drummond gave the home team Pistons the go-ahead score with 35 seconds left, to win a tightly-contested game against the Toronto Raptors, 101-99.
After misses by Jose Calderon and DeMar DeRozan, Toronto sent Charlie Villanueva to the line with 9.7 seconds left. The veteran forward who was actually originally drafted by the Raps, hit the first charity and then missed the second, opening the door for Toronto to force overtime. Unfortunately, Calderon missed his trey, giving the Pistons the win.
Center Greg Monroe led six Detroit players in double-figures, finishing with a 17-10 performance. Sophomore point guard Brandon Knight chimed in 14 points and six assists, while rookie center Andre Drummond added 12 points, seven boards and two steals in 22 minutes.
DeMar DeRozan’s 17 points and 10 rebounds were not enough to lift Toronto.
Jeremy Lin produced just three points but dished out six assists and came up with three steals in his first game as a Houston Rocket, helping his squad to a 107-105 win against the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The Rockets led throughout the fourth quarter, as the Houston rookies stole the limelight from Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Terrence Jones scored a game-high 20 points for them, while Jeremy Lamb added 12 markers.
Westbrook came up with 19 points in just 16 minutes, while Durant scored 13, as the duo led the Thunder troops.
The San Antonio Spurs meanwhile averted a near-collapse, squeaking to a 101-99 win on a Nando De Colo jumper with 0.6 seconds left against the Atlanta Hawks.
An earlier triple by De Colo had the Spurs up by eight, 4:50 left in the final period, but the unheralded Mike Scott scattered seven points in the final minute to tie things up with four seconds left. The Frenchman however, was just as clutch as his more veteran teammates, nailing the game-winner with a fraction of a second left.
Over in Canada, the Portland Trail Blazers blew out a Los Angeles Lakers team that lacked Kobe Bryant and Dwight Howard, 93-75.
Rookie point guard Damian Lillard got the better of his match-up against the more veteran Steve Nash, with the former putting up 14 points, five rebounds and seven assists, versus Nash’s 13 points, four boards and four dimes.
LaMarcus Aldridge added another 14 markers for Portland, which led by as much as 19 points.
In the other games, the Minnesota Timberwolves bested the Indiana Pacers 84-70, and the Sacramento Kings edged the Phoenix Suns 102-96.