Rockets rally to top Spurs, who sat Wembanyama

Houston Rockets forward Jae'Sean Tate (8) drives to the basket San Antonio Spurs center Charles Bassey (28) during the second half of a preseason NBA basketball game in San Antonio, Monday, Oct. 16, 2023. (AP Photo/Eric Gay) (Eric Gay, Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

San Antonio sat No. 1 overall pick Victor Wembanyama in a 99-89 loss to Houston on Monday night that saw the Rockets two first-round picks play well.

Amen Thompson, the fourth overall selection, and 20th pick Cam Whitmore finished with 15 points apiece and the Rockets (3-0) outscored San Antonio 36-13 in the final period to remain unbeaten.

Recommended Videos

The Spurs (1-2) led 79-65 after Doug McDermott's 3-pointer with 11:06 left to play. The Rockets battled back, taking an 88-87 lead on two free throws by Darius Days with 4:24 left to play. Whitmore followed with a 3-pointer, then hit two shots in the final 96 seconds, scoring 11 in the period.

Newcomer Fred VanVleet had 12 points and three steals for Houston. Aaron Holiday also scored 12.

Zach Collins paced the Spurs with 18 points, eight rebounds and five assists. Jeremy Sochan added 13 points and four steals.

76ERS 127, NETS 119

Kelly Oubre Jr. had 21 points, Tobias Harris and Paul Reed scored 18 apiece and Philadelphia earned its first preseason victory, beating Brooklyn in New York.

Oubre added four rebounds, four assists, two steals and two blocks for Philadelphia (1-2). Harris grabbed nine rebounds and Reed snared five. De'Anthony Melton totaled 15 points, 10 assists, eight boards and four steals.

Cam Thomas led Brooklyn (1-2) with 18 points. Reserves Royce O'Neale, Trendon Watford and Lonnie Walker IV each scored 13. Nic Claxton made all six of his shots and scored 12.


Tyrese Haliburton and reserve Aaron Nesmith scored 15 points apiece to help Indiana earn its first victory by handing visiting Atlanta its first loss.

Haliburton added eight rebounds and Nesmith hit three 3-pointers for Indiana (1-2). Myles Turner scored 13 and blocked three shots. Jarace Walker, the eighth overall pick acquired in a trade with the Washington Wizards, scored four points on 2-for-8 shooting. First-rounder Ben Sheppard scored nine on 3-for-8 shooting from 3-point range.

Saddiq Bey finished with 21 points and 10 rebounds in 20 minutes off the bench to pace Atlanta (3-1). De'Andre Hunter had 16 points, while AJ Griffin scored 15. Kobe Bufkin, the 15th overall pick, totaled eight points, six rebounds and three assists in a start.


Rookie Emoni Bates came off the bench to score 16, leading Cleveland past visiting Maccabi of Israel.

Bates, a second-round selection this year and the only pick for Cleveland (1-1), sank 6 of 12 shots with four 3-pointers. Ty Jerome had 15 points, six assists and four rebounds. Dean Wade scored 13 with eight rebounds. Damian Jones hit all seven of his free throws, scoring 11.

Maccabi, which plays in the Israeli National League, visited the U.S. last year, playing games against the Los Angeles Clippers, Portland Trail Blazers and Oklahoma City Thunder. Maccabi opened its trip this year with a 135-103 loss to the Brooklyn Nets on Oct. 12. The team will close out its visit with a game against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday.

Former NBA players Dwayne Bacon, Quinndary Weatherspoon, Bruno Caboclo, Mamadi Diakite and Sindarius Thornwell all play for the Ra'Anana. Diakite scored a game-high 17 in 21 minutes. Weatherspoon and Bacon added 14 points apiece.


Kevin Durant and Devin Booker scored 19 points apiece and Phoenix cruised past visiting Portland.

Durant hit 6 of 10 shots with a 3-pointer and 6 of 7 at the free-throw line for the Suns (3-1). He added four assists and three rebounds, playing 15 minutes. Booker played three more minutes than Durant, sinking 6 of 11 shots with four 3s and four assists. Grayson Allen had 13 points and Bradley Beal scored 11.

Shaedon Sharpe had 19 points and Skylar Mays scored 18 to lead the Blazers (1-3). Scoot Henderson, the third overall pick this year, had eight points on 3-for-11 shooting with five assists in a start. First-rounder Kris Murray contributed 12 points, four rebounds and four steals. Murray missed all eight of his 3-pointers but made 6 of 7 from inside the arc.

Toumani Camara, a second-round selection by Phoenix who was acquired as part of the three-team trade that sent Damian Lillard to the Milwaukee Bucks, started and hit 1 of 2 foul shots. He missed all three of his shots but added three assists, a steal and a block in 13 minutes.


Lauri Markkanen finished with 15 points and seven rebounds in 17 minutes to lead Utah over visiting New Zealand.

Markkanen sank 5 of 12 shots with a 3-pointer for the Jazz (3-1). Jordan Clarkson hit two 3s and scored 12. Ochai Agbaji totaled 12 points, four rebounds, three assists and two blocks in 16 minutes off the bench.

All three of Utah’s first-round picks played. Taylor Hendricks (No. 9 overall) had four points and four rebounds. Keyonte George (16th) scored eight, while Brice Sensabaugh (28th) scored six.

Former NBA player Anthony Lamb led the Breakers with 23 points and seven rebounds.



Recommended Videos