NBA wrap: Deandre Ayton, Luka Doncic shine in debuts

Ayton and Doncic faced off as the Suns hosted the Mavericks, and both highly touted rookies showed flashes of greater things to come.

Golden State Warriors forward Danuel House Jr. (L) drives to the basket against Phoenix Suns center Deandre Ayton during the third quarter of the game at the Oracle Arena.   -  USA TODAY Sports

Many of the NBA's top draft picks from 2018 made their debut Wednesday, and a few of the would-be future stars lived up to the lofty expectations right away.

The biggest spotlight shone on the matchup in Phoenix, where No. 1 pick Deandre Ayton debuted for the Phoenix Suns against the Dallas Mavericks and No. 3 overall selection Luka Doncic. As fate would have it, Ayton scored his first NBA points on Doncic, drawing the foul.

Ayton finished with 18 points, 10 rebounds and six assists in the Suns' 121-100 victory.

Doncic didn't shoot the ball well (5 of 16 from the field), but scored 10, had eight rebounds and four assists and showed several flashes of why the Mavericks are so excited about him, including this effortless behind-the-back assist.

 

In Orlando, Mo Bamba, the No. 6 overall pick, came off the bench for 13 points and seven boards in the Orlando Magic's win against Miami Heat. He blocked two shots, but altered several others. The Magic wanted a rim protector, and the 7-foot center showed his stuff in his debut.

 

STUDS OF THE NIGHT

Anthony Davis scored 32 points and filled the stat sheet everywhere else (16 rebounds, eight assists, three blocks and steals) in the Pelicans' 131-112 win over the Rockets.

Guard Kemba Walker scored 41, hitting 7 of 13 from long range, in the Hornets' 113-112 loss to the Bucks.

Pistons center Andre Drummond had 24 points and added 20 rebounds in a 103-100 win against the Nets.

Magic forward Aaron Gordon had 26 points and 16 rebounds in a 104-101 win over the Heat.

DUDS OF THE NIGHT

The Nets lost by only three to the Pistons, which makes its terrible 3-point shooting line (5 of 27) even more painful.

HIGHLIGHT

Allonzo Trier, who went undrafted in the 2018 NBA Draft, scored 15 points in his debut and looked like a steal for the Knicks with several outstanding plays, including this thunderous drive and dunk.

 

WHAT'S NEXT

Lakers (0-0) at Trail Blazers (0-0) — The LeBron James era begins for the Los Angeles Lakers. Everyone knows what James brings, but how will the revamped Lakers lineup work with him? We obviously won't have the answer after one game, but plenty of NBA fans will be watching as King James begins the next phase of his career.

Raptors beats Cavaliers

The Kawhi Leonard era in Toronto is officially underway and his first outing will leave fans salivating. Leonard dropped 24 points and 13 rebounds Leonard missed his first three shots of the game as the Cavs kept things close, but he got going in the second, knocking down a fadeaway to cap a 20-7 run to put the Raps up 13. It went into the half up 60-47. For the Cavs, Kevin Love led the way with 21 points and seven rebounds, while Cedi 'new LeBron' Osman added 17 points and 10 boards. Jordan Clarkson and George Hill chipped in 15 each.

Pelicans beats Rockets

The Pelicans led by as many as 29 points in its season opener, stunning the Houston Rockets as it cruised to a comfortable victory. Anthony Davis had a game-high 32 points, 16 rebounds and eight assists, while Nikola Mirotic added 30, including six three-pointers. Point guard Elfrid Payton posted a triple-double of 10 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. The Pelicans dominated inside from the jump, taking a 71-54 lead into half-time. With the Rockets going small, New Orleans cleaned the glass, ou-trebounding them 54-37 and scoring a whopping 76 points in the paint.