Friday, October 28, 2016

Gagner and Saad score 2 each as Blue Jackets beat Ducks 4-0

Sam Gagner and Brandon Saad each scored twice in the first period and Sergei Bobrovskystopped 35 shots for his 14th career shutout as the Columbus Blue Jackets beat the Anaheim Ducks 4-0 on Friday night.
Gagner scored midway through the first period, cleaning upScott Hartnell's missed shot for his first goal since signing with the Blue Jackets as a free agent.
Saad scored 21 seconds later as he unleashed a wrist shot from the high slot that hit the post and careened in. Saad knew it was a goal and started celebrating immediately, but the officials needed a video review to confirm it.
Saad then swatted in his own rebound with 6:10 left for his 10th career multi-goal game and first with the Blue Jackets.
Gagner added a power-play goal 20 seconds later with Nick Foligno picking up his third assist to match his career high and tie the team record for helpers in a period.
Alexander Wennberg had assists on Saad and Gagner's second goals.
Ducks goalie John Gibson made 28 saves before being replaced by Dustin Tokarski midway through the third period. Tokarski stopped all five shots he faced.
The game was surprisingly heated, with Blue Jackets RW Josh Anderson and Ducks D Josh Manson fighting 1:50 into the first period.
Foligno bowled over Gibson in the second period, with the goaltender taking visible offense to the collision.
Anderson lost his footing and plowed into Gibson in the third period, leading to more jawing.
NOTES: The Ducks had earned at least a point in their previous foru games. ... Ducks C Ryan Getzlafreturned to action after missing one game with an upper-body injury. ... The Blue Jackets scored four goals in a period for the 14th time in franchise history, having last done so against Chicago in March 2015. ... After scoring three power-play goals against Nashville on Wednesday, the Ducks were 0 for 4 with the man-advantage.
Blue Jackets: Host Dallas on Monday night.
Ducks: At Los Angeles on Monday night.

McDavid, Talbot help Oilers beat Canucks for 5th straight

Connor McDavidscored on a breakaway in the second period and Cam Talbotmade 26 saves for his 13th career shutout to lead the Edmonton Oilers to their fifth straight win, 2-0 over the Vancouver Canucks on Friday night.
Milan Lucic added an empty-netter to help Western Conference-leading Edmonton, off to its best start since 1985, improve to 7-1-0.
Talbot, who has started all eight games this season, recorded his second shutout in three games.
Ryan Miller had 25 saves for Vancouver, which was shut out for the second straight game and has lost four straight (0-3-1) after starting the season with four wins. The Canucks haven't scored since the third period against Anaheim on Sunday.

Durant helps Warriors bounce back, beat Pelicans 122-114

 Kevin Durant scored 30 points, Klay Thompson added 28 and the Golden State Warriors bounced back emphatically from a surprising season-opening loss to beat the New Orleans Pelicans 122-114 on Friday night.
After scoring only six points on five shot attempts in the first half, Stephen Curry asserted himself more with an array of inside and deep shots to finish with 23 points, including a momentum-swinging 8-0 run by himself in the third quarter. Durant also had 17 rebounds.
Anthony Davis, who scored 50 points in New Orleans' season-opening loss, finished with 45 points and 17 rebounds against Golden State, but the Pelicans struggled to trim their deficit below double digits for much of the final quarter.
Tim Frazier scored a career-high 21 points and added 10 assists for New Orleans. Lance Stephenson and Dante Cunningham each scored 15 points.
Golden State, the two-time defending Western Conference champions, dropped their season opener at home in stunning fashion, 129-100 to San Antonio. The Warriors made far easier work of the depleted Pelicans, leading by as many as 16 points and trailing for less than a minute in the second half, and by only one point in the third quarter.
The Pelicans trailed by 12 after Draymond Green's 3 early in the third quarter, but chipped away and briefly took the lead at 74-73 when Frazier his a driving layup that gave him 11 points in the period.
The Warriors seized momentum right back, however, when Curry scored the next eight points on a deep 3, a pair of free throws and a driving layup as he was fouled. Curry added another 3 from 30 feet a few possessions later, and wound up with 13 points in the third quarter, which ended with Golden State leading 92-81 after Andre Iguodala's dunk.
New Orleans got as close as 116-110 on Davis short basket with about a minute left, and had the ball with a chance to pull closer, but Durant blocked Davis' jumper and raced the other way for a break-away layup to put it away.
Warriors: Durant was called for a technical foul for shoving Stephenson to the floor after the highly animated Stephenson had fouled him. ... Durant has scored at least 20 points in 66 consecutive regular season games, the longest such streak since Michael Jordan's 69 straight in 1990-91. ... The Warriors started cold from deep, hitting only one of their first seven 3-point attempts, but still led by 11 at that point. ... Patrick McCaw, who hit his only shot from 3-point range, sprained his left ankle in the first half and did not return. ... Green and Zaza Pachulia each grabbed 11 rebounds. Pachulia scored 10 points.
Pelicans: Davis is the first Pelicans player (dating back to the NBA's return to New Orleans as the Hornets in 2002) to score 40 or more in consecutive games. ... New Orleans missed 10 of its first 12 3s and shot only 38.8 percent (19 of 49) overall in the first half, after which they trailed 59-50. ... Sixth overall draft choiceBuddy Hield played 17 minutes and once again had a quiet game offensively, hitting 1 of 6 shots for two points. He also let a pass slip through his hands and out of bounds when he was wide open under the basket.
Warriors: Visit Phoenix on Sunday afternoon.
Pelicans: Visit San Antonio on Saturday night.

Hill has 23 points, Jazz beat Lakers 96-89 in home opener

George Hill said he wanted to help Utah win more close games. In his second contest since a June trade from the Pacers, the veteran point guard helped the Jazz do just that.
Hill scored 23 points, Rudy Gobert had 13 points and 13 rebounds and the Jazz beat the Los Angeles Lakers 96-89 in Utah's home opener Friday night. Hill took over late and scored 10 points in the fourth quarter.
"A lot of guys can talk about it, I'm more big on leading by example," Hill said. "Holding guys accountable. Doing what I can do first and let guys read that.
"That's the thing, the better off we're going to be is every one of these guys being able to hold each other accountable and give each other constructive criticism and don't take it the wrong way. Just knowing that we have one common goal and we all want to win."
The Jazz used a 16-1 run spanning halftime to take an 11-point lead, but the Lakers closed the third quarter on a 22-11 run - highlighted by Tarik Black's put-backs and Lou Williams' 3 - to take a 65-64 lead.
The Jazz trailed by four midway in the fourth quarter when Hill's 3-pointer sparked an 11-0 run for an 83-76 lead. Utah led the rest of the way.
"I think he's just a good player," Jazz coach Quin Snyder said of Hill. "He takes pride, is the main thing. He's got a lot of pride in his defense. On the offensive end ... he didn't stop attacking. That's going to be huge for us, especially with Gordon (Hayward) and Alec (Burks) out. We've talked about George being aggressive offensively."
Jazz forward Derrick Favors returned from a knee injury that kept him out for most of the preseason and the season opener. He finished with 15 points, nine rebounds and two blocks. Teammate Rodney Hood added 15.
Williams led the Lakers with 17 points.
"We came out of halftime flat and that second unit came out and did a phenomenal job," Lakers coach Luke Walton said. "We had a fourth quarter lead. Utah is a tough team at home. They are well coached. We missed some good looks, they shot 40 free throws, which is a little ridiculous to me, but that is kind of what happens when you play in Utah."
Lakers: No. 2 overall pick Brandon Ingram left the game with a sore right knee in the first half and did not return. He said it got sore while running and thinks it may be tendinitis. "I think it was better to be cautious about it and just come back and try to run on it again. But it just felt like I needed to be done." ... D'Angelo Russell shot just 3 for 14 and had nine points.
Jazz: Hayward went through a workout, including shooting the ball, before the game. He is out indefinitely and missed most of the preseason with a broken finger on his non-shooting hand. ... Gobert had his second double-double in two games and also had four blocks
Snyder was an assistant with the Lakers from 2011-12 when Walton was on the roster. Snyder said he worked a lot with the second unit, which included Walton.
"His feel for the game and just the kind of quiet intelligence," Snyder said when asked what he remembered. "Sometimes you had to ask him what he thought. ... You can always learn a lot from NBA players when you're coaching if you just pay attention and keep your ears open. There's things that they acquire over a period of a career. Luke, clearly, that stuff translates to him coaching right now."
Lakers guard Nick Young has already matched his number of starts from the 2015-16 season. He's started both games season and had just two last year.
"He earned it, honestly," Walton said. "In training camp it wasn't like we had him penciled in. But he continued to work hard defensively, is what first caught our eye.
"When that first unit was struggling to kind of score in those preseason games, we were just thinking of different ways to get more firepower and kind of keep that second unit together that was playing really well. We tried Nick and he did a phenomenal job and kept working hard in practice. It felt right."
Lakers: Travel to face Oklahoma City on Sunday after Russell Westbrook scored 51 points on 44 shots Friday against the Suns.
Jazz: Travel to face the Clippers on Sunday.

Hamilton's 3 points leads Flames to 5-2 win over Senators

 Dougie Hamilton scored his first two goals and added an assist to lead the Calgary Flames to a 5-2 victory over the Ottawa Senators on Friday night for their third straight win.
Sam BennettSean Monahan and Michael Frolik also scored for Calgary, and Brian Elliott stopped 31 shots.
Erik Karlsson and Kyle Turris scored for Ottawa. Andrew Hammond started in goal and had three saves on four shots before leaving with a lower-body injury after one period. Chris Dreidger replaced him and gave up four goals on 15 shots.
With the score tied 2-2 halfway through the second, Hamilton retrieved the puck from the sideboards, spun and whipped a shot from a bad angle over the Dreidger's shoulder.
Calgary put the game away on goals by Monahan and Frolik 2:46 apart midway through the third. Monahan scored his fourth on a wicked slap shot off a pass from Johnny Gaudreau, who had his second assist of the night. Frolik completed the scoring with his fourth of the year.
After a rocky first three starts in a Flames uniform in which he gave up 14 goals on 87 shots, Elliott has been much sharper his last three starts yielding just five goals on 88 shots.
Ottawa's 2-1 lead to start the second period didn't last long. Bennett fired in a centering pass from Alex Chiasson just 1:25 into the period to tie it.
Bennett has goals in three consecutive games and has six points during a four-game point streak.
The story of the first period was Ottawa's 30th-ranked power play, which looked anything like that.
Trailing 1-0, the Senators needed just 4 seconds on their first man-advantage for Karlsson to tie the game.
Two minutes later, Ottawa went back to the extra man and converted again, with Turris' shot eluding Elliott, who was screened by Zack Smith.
NOTES: Senators starting goalie Craig Anderson, coming off a shutout in Vancouver on Tuesday, was granted a leave from the team to attend to a personal matter. ... Driedger, who played three seasons of junior hockey for the Calgary Hitmen (WHL), appeared in his third NHL game - all in relief. ... Calgary first-round pickMatthew Tkachuk played in his seventh game, creeping closer to the point where the Flames need to make a decision on whether to send him back to London of the OHL. If he plays in a 10th game, the first year of his entry-level contract will kick-in.
Senators: At Edmonton on Sunday night before returning home for three games in five days.
Flames: Host Washington on Sunday night before heading out on a four-game trip.

Matthias, Hutchinson lead Jets to 1-0 win over Avalanche

Michael Hutchinson was all warmed up by the time the Colorado Avalanche finally shook off the rust from a long layoff.
At that point, nothing was getting by him.
Hutchinson stopped 37 shots for his third career NHL shutout, Shawn Matthias scored in the second period against his former team and the Winnipeg Jets beat the Avalanche 1-0 on Friday night.
Early on, the Jets were more energetic despite playing their third game in four days, including a 4-1 win over Dallas the night before.
Meanwhile, Colorado looked a bit out of sync after a week break. The Avalanche got their offense working in the third period, outshooting the Jets 20-4. But they couldn't solve Hutchinson as he recorded his first shutout since Jan. 15, 2015, against Columbus.
"We knew with them having those days off, there's a chance they could come out with a little bit of a slower start," Hutchinson said. "With us playing last night, we knew it was important to get a jump on them early. We did exactly what we had to do."
The Avalanche pulled Semyon Varlamov with around 1:22 remaining, but couldn't capitalize.
Varlamov stopped 20 shots, his only mistake not sliding over in time to stop Matthias' wrist shot.
Colorado went on the power play late in the final period and had a golden chance with Hutchinson down on the ice. But Rene Bourque's shot from out front appeared to hit forward Brandon Tanev and sail wide of the net.
Hutchinson also came up big midway through the third period by stopping Joe Colborne, who coasted in all alone and tried to thread the puck between Hutchinson's legs.
"This one stinks," Colorado captain Gabriel Landeskog said. "We really wanted this one. Especially after coming off an extended break."
Simply ran into a hot goaltender.
"Their goalie stole one for them," forward Nathan MacKinnon succinctly said.
Colorado's alternate blue sweater hasn't exactly been lucky. The team is 5-9-1 since the jersey's debut last season.
Jarome Iginla remains in a goal-scoring funk. He had a point-blank shot moments into the third period and was thwarted by Hutchinson. Iginla has just one goal so far this season. He's 16th on the league's all-time goal-scoring list.
Matthias gave the Jets 1-0 lead at 8:29 of the second period when he guided in a perfect cross-ice pass fromJoel Armia. Matthias played for the Avalanche last season after being acquired in a February deal with Toronto. He had six goals in 20 games for Colorado.
"Nice to score against your former team," Matthias said. "There's no animosity toward any old team. Just playing hard for the Jets."
Winnipeg nearly had a power-play goal midway through the first period when Mark Scheifele poked in a shot between the pads of Varlamov. But the officials blew the whistle just before the puck rolled into the net.
Scheifele pleaded to no avail.
Patrik Laine, the No. 2 overall pick in June who already has six goals, unleashed a few quality shots only to be turned back by Varlamov. Laine is good friends with Avalanche forward Mikko Rantanen, who was making his season debut after being called up from San Antonio of the American Hockey League.
They pair helped Team Finland to the 2016 world junior hockey championship. They also practiced together this summer.
"It will be fun," Rantanen said of the friendly rival.
Rantanen was the 10th overall pick in 2015. His locker once belonged to Avalanche standout Milan Hejduk.
"Maybe Mikko will take the great energy that was in that stall," Landeskog cracked.
NOTES: Jets D Dustin Byfuglien recorded the 800th penalty minute of his career with a tripping call in the second period. He also was called for another penalty in the closing seconds. ... F Drew Stafford missed a second straight game with an upper-body injury. ... D Fedor Tyutin (groin) sat out a second straight game. ... FJohn Mitchell (hip) made his season debut.
Jets: Host Buffalo on Sunday.
Avalanche: At Arizona on Saturday in their second back-to-back set this season.

Rockets top Mavs 106-98 with Nowitzki out for home opener

 James Harden walked the ball up the court in the final seconds of the third quarter, then decided he didn't want to set up the offense.
The Houston star simply pulled up and hit a long 3-pointer for the first double-digit lead during a late-quarter run that put the Rockets in control for good.
Trevor Ariza scored 27 points, Harden had 26 and Houston beat Dallas 106-98 with Dirk Nowitzki missing from the Mavericks' home opener Friday night.
Harden went scoreless while playing the entire first quarter, missing all five shots, before getting 10 points in the second and 12 in the third, including the punctuating 3 that followed two others on a 10-2 run to finish the quarter.
"I was in a groove and it was time to close out the quarter," Harden said. "Think that's one of the things that we're preaching is we got to end quarters the right way."
Harrison Barnes, playing his first home game for the Mavericks after signing a max contract in the summer, had a career-high 31 points.
Nowitzki didn't play for just the second time in 19 home openers with Dallas. The 38-year-old had a stomach ailment bad enough that coach Rick Carlisle wasn't sure he would make the trip to Houston for the Rockets' home opener Sunday.
"Dirk's not going to be around here forever. And we're going to be sitting him sometimes this year," Carlisle said. "The other guys have got to step up and step forward. And I'm one of them. We've all got to really raise the level of our game when a guy like that's not on the floor."
Two nights after recording a career-high 17 assists in an opening loss to the Los Angeles Lakers, Harden had eight assists and seven rebounds.
Ariza was 5 of 7 from 3-point range, including one early in the fourth quarter to push Houston's lead back to nine points. He was fouled on 3-pointers twice and made all six free throws.
Rockets: Harden became the second player in NBA history with at least 30 points and 15 assists in an opener when he had 34 points and 17 assists in the 120-114 loss to the Lakers. Tim Hardaway had 32 and 18 for Golden State at Denver in 1990. ... Eric Gordon was the other double-figure scorer for Houston with 18 points. ... Clint Capela had nine rebounds.
Mavericks: Dallas has the two highest totals for 3-point attempts in a game in league history after shooting 48 in the 130-121 overtime loss to Indiana in the opener. The Mavericks made 18 (38 percent). Dallas shot a record 49 on March 5, 1996, against New Jersey, also making 18 (37 percent). ... Andrew Bogut, a starter alongside Barnes at Golden State before both joined Dallas after the Warriors landed Kevin Durant in free agency, had a game-high 12 rebounds. ... Deron Williams had 14 points, but just one in the second half.
The only other home opener Nowitzki missed was in 2012 when he sat the first 27 games recovering from knee surgery. Sliding over to power forward, Barnes was strong inside and out, going 13 of 23 from the field with five rebounds. "I think he has a chance to be a very special player. I've felt that all along," Carlisle said.
After giving up 51 percent shooting in the loss to the Lakers, the Rockets allowed Dallas to shoot 52 percent in the first quarter while Barnes scored 12 points . But the Mavericks were held to 15 of 40 (38 percent) in the second and third quarters, when Houston outscored them 53-43. "We can't just rely on offense or James bailing us out like he did a lot last year," Ariza said. "We have to do it collectively on the defensive end."
Dallas' Wesley Matthews scored 13 points on a second straight bad shooting night. He's 7 of 30 from the field through two games, including 3 of 18 from 3-point range.
The Rockets were 15 of 32 from 3-point range (47 percent). Ariza, Harden (4 of 9) and Gordon (3 of 6) combined to make 12 of 20 from beyond the arc. "I think our legs were a little bit better, and we'll get more in shape as we play more games," first-year coach Mike D'Antoni said.
The Rockets' home opener Sunday against the Mavericks is their only home game in the first eight this season. One of three five-game road trips - a season high - follows.

Pumphrey 5th in NCAA after San Diego State rolls 40-13

 Donnel Pumphrey ran for 223 yards, moving into the top five on the NCAA career list, and Juwan Washington added 137 yards and two touchdowns in San Diego State's 40-13 victory over Utah State on Friday night.
John Baron II was perfect on a career high four field goals in the driving rain for the Aztecs (7-1, 4-0), who have won 15 straight over Mountain West Conference rivals.
Pumphrey leads the country with 1,469 yards this season. He passed Cedric Benson, Travis Prentice and Charles White as he reached 5,741.
Washington had scoring runs of 39 and 1 yards en route to his first 100-yard game and the Aztecs piled up 400 yards on the ground.
Malik Smith scored his first touchdown with a 28-yard return on his ninth career interception for the final Aztec score.
Kurt Myers passed for a score and ran for another for Utah State (3-7, 1-4). His first-quarter run marked the first time SDSU has trailed in a regular-season conference game since last Oct. 31, a span of 400 minutes, 14 seconds.

Westbrook has 51 points, triple-double, Thunder beat Suns

Russell Westbrook had 51 points and a triple-double and scored the winning points in the Oklahoma City Thunder's 113-110 overtime victory over the Phoenix Suns on Friday night.
According to the Thunder, it was the first 50-point triple-double since Kareem Abdul-Jabbar had one in 1975. Westbrook finished with 13 rebounds and 10 assists and took a career-high 44 shots.
Westbrook made a layup to put the Thunder up a point with 7.6 seconds remaining. Phoenix's Devin Booker missed a layup and Westbrook was fouled. Westbrook scored his 50th and 51st points at the free-throw line with 3.5 seconds remaining. Booker missed a 3-pointer as time expired.
Westbrook was 17 of 44 from the field, 2 of 10 from 3-point range and made 15 of 20 free throws.
Westbrook has 38 career triple-doubles. He scored 39 points in the second half and overtime.
T.J. Warren had a career-high 30 points for the Suns.
The Suns led by 18 in the first quarter, but Oklahoma City held Phoenix to 5-for-26 shooting in the second quarter to cut it to 53-49.
Westbrook tied it at 59 on a layup and free throw early in the third, but the Suns responded with a 12-0 run. Westbrook kept the Thunder in it with 23 points in the third quarter on 7-for- 12 shooting, but the Suns led 83-77 heading into the fourth.
Westbrook returned from a rest with 8:50 remaining and the Thunder trailing 89-81. Four minutes later, his driving layup gave the Oklahoma City a 97-96 lead. Westbrook then found Roberson open, and Roberson's 3-pointer pushed Oklahoma City's lead to 102-98 with 2:39 to play.
Westbrook missed several chances to put the Thunder ahead in the closing seconds of regulation, and Phoenix held on to force overtime.
Suns: Coach Earl Watson played for the Thunder during the 2008-09 season. ... The Suns led 31-13 in the first quarter and 40-25 at the end of the period. ... Phoenix shot 69.6 percent in the first quarter and 19.2 percent in the second.
Thunder: Domantas Sabonis, a rookie, started in his first-ever regular-season home game. He finished with eight points on 4 for 6 shooting. ... Backup point guard Cameron Payne sat out with a fractured right foot. ... Westbrook was issued a technical in the third quarter, but it was taken away upon review. ... Victor Oladiposcored 21 points.
Westbrook's averages through two games are 41.5 points, 12.5 rebounds and 9.5 assists.
Suns: Sunday, they travel to Golden State to face former Thunder star Kevin Durant's new team.
Thunder: Sunday, they host the Lakers and new coach Luke Walton.

Hornets rally from 19 down in second half, top Heat 97-91

 Kemba Walker already knows one thing about these Charlotte Hornets.
"We're resilient," Walker said.
That was proven in earnest Friday night.
Walker scored 24 points and the Hornets erased a 19-point deficit in the third quarter on the way to beating Miami 97-91. Charlotte won in the building where its season ended in Game 7 of a first-round matchup last spring, albeit against a very different Heat team that played a home opener without Dwyane Wade on the roster for the first time since 2002.
"We could have given up, but we didn't," Walker said. "We kept wanting it."
Hassan Whiteside led Miami with 20 points and 15 rebounds but sat a long stretch of the second half with foul trouble and needed four stitches to close a gash on his left elbow.
Down 65-46, Walker made a 3-pointer to unknowingly start what became a 29-point turnaround. The Hornets clamped down on Miami in the second half, with the Heat shooting 6 for 17 from behind the arc in the final 24 minutes - and just 6 for 26 from 2-point range in that time. Charlotte's reserves had 30 points after halftime, while the entire Miami roster combined for 34.
"One thing is we were able to stop their penetration more," Hornets coach Steve Clifford said. "Our defense more energized the offense, and we got really good bench play."
Jeremy Lamb scored 16 points for the Hornets, who had six players in double figures and turned the 65-46 hole into a 94-84 lead with 3 minutes left - a 48-19 run in about 18 minutes. Nic Batum and Marco Belinellieach scored 12 points for Charlotte.
"They're a well-coached, veteran team," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "They weren't punch-drunk or anything when we went up. ... We knew going in we would have to play a complete game against them and we weren't able to do that."
Goran Dragic scored 14 points and Dion Waiters added 13 for the Heat, who lost a home opener for the first time in nine years. Charlotte had runs of 12-0 and 9-1 in the third quarter alone.
"We just stopped getting stops," Heat forward Justise Winslow said. "That was it."
Hornets: Roy Hibbert started at center, played the first 4:29, and did not return because of right knee soreness. Cody Zeller started the second half in his place. ... Frank Kaminsky (right foot strain) went through a pregame workout but was inactive. ... Belinelli now has 11 regular season appearances in Miami with seven different teams.
Heat: Team captain Udonis Haslem grabbed a microphone and addressed the crowd before tip-off, promising them that "we will play as hard as we can for you guys every night." ... The locker Wade used for the last several years is now empty, not assigned to any current Heat player. ... Wayne Ellington (right thigh bruise) and Josh Richardson (right knee) were again sidelined.
Michael Kidd-Gilchrist just recently turned 23, missed most of last season with a shoulder injury and still made the 200th start of his Charlotte career on Friday night. Miami's entire starting five - Dragic (100), Whiteside (77), Winslow (10), Luke Babbitt (2) and Waiters (2) - now have a combined 191 starts in Heat colors.
Heat President Pat Riley sat down with team broadcast outlet Fox Sports Sun before the game and raved about the job Spoelstra has done with a new group that was largely assembled after Wade left for Chicago this summer (and before Chris Bosh failed his physical in September to essentially end his time with the team).
"There's a saying that Spo uses a lot, and I like to use it myself now ... when you look at a player, the player doesn't care what you know until he knows how much you care," Riley said. "Spo and his staff cares a lot about these guys and these young players."
Hornets: Saturday, they play their home opener against Boston.
Heat: Sunday, the homestand continues when San Antonio visits.

Lin leads Nets past Pacers, 103-94 in home opener

Jeremy Lin fell just short of a triple-double, though there was a 10th assist after the buzzer.
The point guard tracked down the game ball and gave it to Kenny Atkinson, who got his first win as an NBA coach not far from where he grew up.
"Pretty special," Atkinson said, his eyes welling up a bit.
Lin had 21 points, nine rebounds and nine assists in his Nets home debut, Brook Lopez scored 25 and Brooklyn beat the Indiana Pacers 103-94 on Friday night.
Lin drew some delirious cheers the way he briefly did during his run of Linsanity last time he played in New York, with the Knicks in 2012.
Atkinson was the assistant coach who worked closely with him on that team, and Lin's first thought was of the Northport native when the buzzer sounded.
"This is his and he deserves it, and I better not see him play with that ball or whatever," Lin said. "He better get that framed and make sure he knows."
Sean Kilpatrick hit consecutive 3-pointers during the decisive fourth-quarter surge and finished with 18 points for the Nets, who lost to Boston in their opener.
Paul George had 22 points and nine rebounds for the Pacers, who were outscored 31-15 in the fourth quarter.
The Nets opened their fifth season in Brooklyn by improving to 4-1 in home openers, an immediate highlight in a rebuilding season where there aren't expected to be many of them.
"They brought the fight to us," George said. "We knew coming in that this team necessarily (did not have) have the names but they play hard and they play together."
The Pacers, who opened with a 130-121 overtime victory over Dallas, surged into the lead with a 31-point third quarter.
But the Nets answered with a run early in the fourth, then took control after George's basket tied it at 85 midway through the period.
Justin Hamilton's three-point play snapped the tie and Kilpatrick followed with consecutive 3-pointers to put the Nets up 94-85 with about 4 minutes left. Lin closed it out down the stretch with some free throws and a basket in the lane.
"I thought Brooklyn came out and played harder than we did," Pacers coach Nate McMillan said.
Pacers: Myles Turner, who had 30 points and 16 rebounds in the opener, finished with 13 points and 11 boards. ... G Aaron Brooks missed the game with a sore right knee.
Nets: Lopez played in his 489th game, tying Richard Jefferson for seventh on the Nets' career list. Next up is Kerry Kittles at 496. ... Herb Turetzky began his 50th season as the Nets' official scorer. They acknowledged him during a first-quarter timeout.
The Nets improved to 3-3 against the Pacers in home openers. The Pacers' six visits tied them with Atlanta for the most frequent home-opening opponent.
Thaddeus Young scored 19 points. He spent 1 1/2 seasons in Brooklyn and was told last spring by general manager Sean Marks that he wouldn't be traded. Then he was dealt, getting dealt to Indiana for the rights to first-round pick Caris LeVert. He wasn't disappointed by the deal, even though he's still trying to sell his home in Brooklyn. "I think the farther we got into the summer, I think they realized that there wasn't any use in just holding me or continuing to keep me here if I'm trying to be in situations where I'm trying to win," Young said.
Kilpatrick, a Yonkers, New York native, has scored in double figures in 21 of his 25 games as a Net. He is 20-for-40 from 3-point range in nine career home games at Barclays Center.
Pacers: Visit Chicago on Saturday. The Pacers have lost their last three trips to the United Center.
Nets: Visit Milwaukee on Saturday, facing former franchise star and later coach Jason Kidd, who left Brooklyn in 2014 after one year to coach the Bucks.

Pistons roll in home opener, 108-82 over Magic

 If this was the final home opener for the Detroit Pistons at The Palace, they certainly produced a performance worthy of the occasion.
Andre Drummond had 12 points and 20 rebounds, and the Pistons routed the Orlando Magic 108-82 on Friday night in their most lopsided victory in a home opener. Tobias Harrisscored 18 points for the Pistons, and Marcus Morris added 17.
"It was a good team effort tonight," coach Stan Van Gundy said. "I thought everybody was involved and played well."
Pistons owner Tom Gores confirmed before the game the team is close on a deal to move downtown next season, so a run in Auburn Hills that's included three championships may be nearing an end. There will be time later to celebrate the history of The Palace if the move does become official, but Friday's win was a nice moment already. Detroit's 26-point victory broke a franchise record that was last matched in 1967, when the team played at Cobo Arena and the Pistons won their home opener by 23.
Ish Smith had 16 points and eight assists for Detroit on Friday. Aaron Gordon led the Magic with 17 points.
Detroit went on a 16-0 run in the second quarter to take a 44-24 lead, and the Pistons ended up outscoring Orlando 30-9 in the period. The Magic trailed 54-31 at halftime after shooting just 27 percent from the field.
There were so many missed shots by Orlando that Drummond had 16 rebounds in the first half alone.
"I thought that early on, too many guys were trying to get us into the game by themselves instead of trusting their teammates," Orlando coach Frank Vogel said. "Once it got out of hand, I think our shoulders slumped, but that's going to happen to any team that gets outplayed that badly."
Drummond reached 20 rebounds for the 28th time in his career. His rebounding has never been in question, but the big issue is whether he can finally improve his abysmal foul shooting.
He made his only two free throws Friday, drawing a big cheer from the crowd in the third quarter.
Orlando never made a game of it after its awful second quarter. The Pistons were up 86-51 after three, and even 7-foot-3 backup Boban Marjanovic got into the game at the end, much to the delight of the home fans.
Magic: Orlando finished the game at 35 percent from the field. ... The Magic were outscored 60-36 in the paint.
Pistons: Detroit is without PG Reggie Jackson, who is still recovering from a left knee problem. ... BackupsAron Baynes and Beno Udrih scored 13 points apiece. ... The Pistons have won seven in a row against Orlando. ... Drummond had 11 rebounds in the second quarter.
Detroit made the playoffs last season for the first time since 2009, so it was a bit of a downer when the Pistons lost their opener 109-91 to Toronto. Detroit evened its record out with an emphatic victory against the Magic.
"We know what it takes to win," Drummond said. "We had that taste of success last year and we know how hard we need to play in order to be a great team. That wasn't the team that we showed against Toronto."
Orlando had C Bismack Biyombo available after he was suspended for the opener for exceeding the flagrant foul limit in last season's playoffs. He scored two points in 22:51.
"We have to start playing as a team," Biyombo said. "We're out there playing one on one all over the court, and that's not how you win games in this league."
Magic: Visit Cleveland on Saturday night. Orlando's first three games this season are against playoff teams from 2015-16. The Magic lost their opener to Miami.
Pistons: Host Milwaukee on Sunday night. Former Detroit big man Greg Monroe is in his second season with the Bucks.