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NBA scores: Lakers lose again, James Harden blows up

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With the first packed day of the regular season, the NBA offered something for haters (Lakers!) and lovers, those who wanted tricks (LLLLAAAAAAKKKKERS!) or treats. Here's our round-up. Check out all of our blogs' recaps at

Blazers 116, Lakers 106
I can't tell you how much joy, as a professional Laker hater, this 0-2 start has brought me. But let's not ignore that the Blazers were darned good on Wednesday. Nicolas Batum, who got a fat contract back in July, played up to it. Wesley Matthews shot well. Damian Lillard was something like a dream. And while LaMarcus Aldridge wasn't up to his standard, he got it done. Lakers fans will point to Steve Nash's injury (here's more on that), but Kobe Bryant, Dwight Howard and Pau Gasol all played 38-plus minutes, all played really well ... and L.A. lost because it's perimeter defense was completely absent. Great start, L.A. Keep it up.

Rockets 105, Pistons 96
Welp, so much for the idea that James Harden, elevated to a starting role, would lose a lot of his efficiency. In his Rockets debut, he put up 37 points on 14-25 shooting, 12 assists, six rebounds and four steals. Daryl Morey is somewhere plotting his revenge on the Twitter haters. Sam Presti is planning a vacation.

76ers 84, Nuggets 75
Holy defense. The teams combined to shoot 36 percent from the floor. Spencer Hawes was the game's biggest star, coming off of the bench to tally 16 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks. We'll have more on Andre Iguodala later, but his return to Philly was ... not spectacular (11-4-4).

Clippers 101, Grizzlies 92
Jamal Crawford led the Clips with 29 points on 10-14 shooting off of the bench. Surely that is sustainable. But yes, the Clippers really upgraded their bench this offseason. The Grizzlies, up against the tax, did ... not.

Jazz 113, Mavericks 94
Yes, the Mavericks were on the second game of a back-to-back on the road. But this figures to be a pairing that will compete for one of the final playoff spots in the West, and these games do count, so this is a big win for the Jazz in terms of tiebreakers and whatnot. Darren Collison had another good game for Dallas, with 17 and 7.

Spurs 99, Hornets 95
You'd have thought that San Antonio's deep bench would overwhelm the top-heavy Hornets, but it was quite the opposite: New Orleans' stars ran up huge deficits (Anthony Davis was a -20) but the bench (particularly Jason Smith and Ryan Anderson) brought them back. But Tim Duncan (24-11) was too much in the end.

Bulls 93, Kings 87
I still have no idea if the Bulls will be good without Derrick Rose, but I can safely say that the Kings still have a lot of work to do. Tyreke Evans had a great night (21 points on 8-13, 8 rebounds) but also committed a five-second violation on a critical possession in the final minute. Also, Jimmer Fredette played six seconds.

Pacers 90, Raptors 88
The Raptors very nearly knocked off the Pacers (minus Danny Granger), but let Indiana take it with a 16-4 game-winning run. Dwane Casey is no doubt overwhelmed with glee about that.

Warriors 87, Suns 85
How bad is Phoenix? Stephen Curry shot 2-14. David Lee shot 2-16. Andrew Bogut played only five more minutes than Festus Ezeli. And the Warriors won. Stunningly, Michael Beasley did not rescue the Suns. How weird.

Check out all of SB Nation's blog recaps in our NBA Scores package.