The Pelicans' 2012 top overall pick dropped 27 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks and helped lead his team to a 110-108 win over Portland in New Orleans. But he got some serious assistance. Jrue Holiday exploded for 31 points and 13 dimes in a shootout with Damian Lillard, and he got the best of the heralded Blazers guard.
And they weren't alone. New sixth man Tyreke Evans went for 20 points off the bench as New Orleans looked a lot like what management had envisioned when it assembled this roster.
Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge combined for 57 points, but the Blazers shot just 44 percent as a team in the loss.
Suns 107, Clippers 88
The Phoenix Suns are the NBA's most pleasant surprise two months into the new season, and on Monday they earned their most impressive victory of the campaign. Phoenix went into the Staples Center and handed the Clippers their worst defeat of a season, a 107-88 beatdown.
Phoenix led by as many as 29 points in the fourth quarter. Los Angeles simply had no answer for the Suns' spread offense, which produced five different scorers in double-figures. Goran Dragic led the way with 26 points and eight assists on 10-of-15 shooting, while Gerald Green scored 21 off the bench. In his first meeting with his former team, Eric Bledsoe had seven points and four assists on 3-of-10 shooting.
Jamal Crawford and Blake Giffin each had 15 points to lead the Clippers in the loss.
Charlotte's defense was great against Utah on Monday, but that hasn't really been the problem. The Bobcats managed to shoot just 36.9 percent and the Jazz snuck away with an 83-80 home win.
The league MVP was back in action on Monday, and he seemed to be feeling fine. Along with a little help from a late Michael Beasley three, LeBron James carried Miami in a come-from-behind 97-94 win in Denver.
James went for 26 points, 10 assists and six boards in the win, and Beasley went for nine points off the bench, none bigger than his final shot that put the Heat up by four points in the final half-minute.
The Nuggets got 26 points from Ty Lawson but only scored 17 points in the fourth quarter to allow the Heat to surpass them.
Dallas may have snuck out of Minnesota with a tight 100-98 win, but the Mavs didn't leave without a little controversy. The Timberwolves had a chance to tie or win at the buzzer, but Kevin Love was rejected on a final shot in the corner by Shawn Marion to secure the win.
Minnesota — Kevin Love, in particular — could not believe there was no foul called. There almost certainly appeared to be some contact on the play, but no whistle was blown.
Marion turned back the clock with a 32-point performance for the Mavs, and Love went off again for 36 more points as his amazing season continues despite the Wolves' record.
Also, sorry, Dirk. We have to show this one more time.
(Thanks to @cjzero)
It was a defensive struggle between two injury-plagued teams, but the Bulls came out on top over the home-standing Grizzlies, 95-91, on Monday.
Mike Conley, on the other side of the ball, was great in the loss. He went for 26 points, nine assists, six rebounds and six steals in 37 minutes.
The Pistons are still trying to find their identity, but the Wizards are starting to gain a little more momentum in the weak Eastern Conference. John Wall exploded for 29 points and seven assists as Washington went into Detroit and stole a 106-99 win.
Detroit had six players score in double figures, including all five starters, but got only two points from the rest of the roster.
Though, Greg Monroe did do this: