Trinidad Express / Dwyane Wade and Derrick Rose paired in the backcourt in Cleveland. Ben Simmons finally on the floor with Markelle Fultz alongside in Philadelphia.
Two Eastern Conference teams with big aspirations got to see some of their tantalizing combinations together in their preseason openers Wednesday night.
Wade and Rose made their debuts for the Cavaliers, who got a great first impression from Kevin Love in the center spot. The former All-Star guards both scored seven points as Cleveland lost 109-93 to the Atlanta Hawks while LeBron James sat out while recovering from a sprained left ankle.
The Cavs are making Love their starting center this season and he began the game with 3-pointers for Cleveland’s first two baskets.
Philadelphia started the last two No. 1 overall picks together in its 111-89 home loss to Memphis. Simmons, who missed all of last season recovering from a broken foot, showed his versatility with six points, nine assists and seven rebounds. He shot only 2 for 8 and Fultz was worse at 2 for 13, finishing with four points in his first game. ___ HAWKS 109, CAVALIERS 93
Dennis Schroder had 18 points as the Hawks earned their first preseason victory. Love finished with 12 points and five rebounds in 15 minutes.
HAWKS: Taurean Prince had 15 points and eight rebounds. … Dewayne Dedmon was 6 for 7 from the field and scored 13 points.
CAVALIERS: Jae Crowder, acquired from Boston in the Kyrie Irving trade, started and scored eight points. … Iman Shumpert played a little over two minutes off the bench before leaving with a foot injury. … Kyle Korver shot 1 for 8, 1 for 7 behind the arc, against his former team. … Rookie Cedi Osman from Turkey had six points in 16 minutes of his debut.
UP NEXT: Atlanta (1-1) visits Detroit on Friday. Cleveland (0-1) hosts Indiana on Friday. ___ GRIZZLIES 111, 76ERS 89
Brandan Wright scored 16 points as the Grizzlies improved to 2-0 in the preseason. Jahlil Okafor and Robert Covington each scored 13 for the 76ers.
GRIZZLIES: Mike Conley and Marc Gasol sat out. … Chandler Parsons played 18 minutes and had five points. … Andrew Harrison scored 14 points and JaMychal Green had 11.
76ERS: JJ Redick scored 11 points in his 76ers debut. … Joel Embiid and Dario Saric, who finished second and third in last season’s Rookie of the Year voting, didn’t play. … Emeka Okafor, the former No. 2 overall pick trying to make an NBA comeback from back injuries, had two points in 9 1/2 minutes.
UP NEXT: Memphis (2-0) visits Atlanta on Monday. Philadelphia (0-1) hosts Boston on Friday. ___ HORNETS 108, PISTONS 106
Rookie Malik Monk scored 12 of his 19 points in the fourth quarter as Charlotte spoiled Detroit’s first game at Little Caesars Arena.
Andre Drummond had 16 points and 15 rebounds in the Pistons’ preseason opener.
HORNETS: Nicolas Batum sprained his left elbow and left 49 seconds into the game. … Jeremy Lamb scored 18 points off the bench. … Dwight Howard had 12 points and 11 rebounds. … Frank Kaminsky scored 13 points and Kemba Walker, Marvin Williams and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist all had 10.
PISTONS: Avery Bradley scored 14 points in his first game since coming from Boston in a trade. … Tobias Harris had 13 points and nine rebounds.
UP NEXT: Charlotte (1-1) visits Miami on Monday. Detroit (0-1) hosts Atlanta on Friday. ___ PACERS 108, BUCKS 86
Myles Turner and Lance Stephenson each scored 17 points in Indiana’s preseason opener.
Gary Payton II had 15 points for a Milwaukee team that put no players in double figures.
PACERS: Victor Oladipo, in his first game since coming from Oklahoma City in the Paul George trade, scored 15 points. Domantas Sabonis, the other played acquired in the deal, shot 3 for 11 off the bench for eight points in 14 minutes. … Darren Collison finished with 10 points, seven steals and five assists.
BUCKS: All-Star Giannis Antetokounmpo remains out following the death of his father. Also sitting out for the Bucks were Jabari Parker, Thon Maker, Jason Terry and Matthew Dellavedova. … Rookie of the Year Malcolm Brogdon had five points and three assists.
UP NEXT: Indiana (1-0) visits Cleveland on Friday. Milwaukee (0-2) visits Chicago on Friday. ___ MAVERICKS 118, BULLS 71
Harrison Barnes scored 17 points, rookie Dennis Smith Jr. added 14 and Dallas cruised to its second victory in two preseason games.
Robin Lopez and Paul Zipser each had 12 for the Bulls.
BULLS: Chicago may have run out of gas playing for the second straight night. After a 26-point first quarter, the Bulls limped to the final buzzer with quarters of 17, 17 and 11 points. … Kris Dunn was 1 for 9 from the field and the Bulls were outscored by 21 points in his 21 minutes.
MAVERICKS: Dallas made 18 3-pointers. … Dirk Nowitzki had eight points and nine rebounds from the starting center spot.
UP NEXT: Chicago (1-1) hosts Milwaukee on Friday. Dallas (2-0) hosts Orlando on Monday. ___ NUGGETS 128, LAKERS 107
Kenneth Faried had 25 points and seven rebounds in Denver’s second victory in three nights over the winless Lakers.
Rookie Kyle Kuzma scored 21 points in a game where both teams rested top players in Ontario, California. NUGGETS: Nikola Jokic, Paul Millsap, Gary Harris and Wilson Chandler sat out. … Faried was 11 for 13 from the floor. … Jamal Murray scored 20 points, Mason Plumlee had 13 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists, and Emmanuel Mudiay finished with 13 points, six assists and five rebounds.
LAKERS: No. 2 pick Lonzo Ball missed the game after injuring his ankle in Denver’s victory Monday. Brandon Ingram also got the night off. … Jordan Clarkson scored 13 points off the bench.
UP NEXT: Denver (3-0) visits San Antonio on Sunday. Los Angeles (0-3) faces Sacramento on Sunday in Las Vegas.