One soaring dunk at a time, John Wall let everyone know that his surgically repaired knees are just fine.
Wall threw down three one-handed dunks in the first half of the Washington Wizards’ 100-79 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday night.
Wall scored all of his nine points in the first half and also had nine assists and three steals in his second preseason game. The star point guard had surgery on both of his knees in May to address lingering pain that had bothered him for a couple of years.
“It felt like my first game of my career
He had loose particles taken out of his right knee — considered a relatively minor procedure — and calcium deposits removed from his left patella tendon, a more invasive procedure that required several months of rehab. When he reported to training camp both he and new coach Scott Brooks said it was uncertain if he would play in any of the team’s seven preseason games. But he only missed the first two before returning to the court on Monday against the Knicks.
Wall played nearly 20 minutes on Thursday night. He made 4 of 11 shots, but was 0 for 3 on 3-pointers. Bradley Beal led the way for the Wizards with 22 points, including 5 of 6 on 3s, with five rebounds and four assists in 24 minutes.
Joel Embiid had 11 points and 12 rebounds in 14 minutes for the 76ers, continuing to show encouraging signs in his first preseason action after spending the last two years dealing with foot problems.
GRIZZLIES 110, THUNDER 94
TULSA, Okla. — Marc Gasol scored 21 points and hit 3-of-5 3-pointers to push the Grizzlies past the Thunder.
Alex Abrines led the Thunder with 19 points and hit 5 of 6 3s.
GRIZZLIES: Mike Conley scored 19 points and hit all three of his 3-pointers. … Zach Randolph scored 12 points off the bench, but was just 6 for 17 from the field. … Memphis overcame 39 percent shooting by forcing 28 turnovers, 11 coming off of steals.
THUNDER: Russell Westbrook made the big headlines after shootaround on Thursday morning when he was asked about comments former teammate Kevin Durant made when saying he chose to play for Golden State because of the selfless players on the roster. “That’s cute,” Westbrook told reporters after being read Durant’s comments. “Cute. … But my job is to worry about what’s going on here. We’re going to worry about all the selfish guys we have over here apparently. So we’re going to figure that out.” … Westbrook scored 17 points. … Kyle Singler had 15 points on 5-for-6 shooting from 3-point range. … OKC shot 14 of 21 (66 percent) on 3s.
UP NEXT: Memphis (3-1) visits Houston on Saturday. Oklahoma City (1-3) hosts Minnesota on Sunday.
RAPTORS 119, CAVALIERS 94
CLEVELAND — Kyle Lowry scored 25 points and dished out six assists in the first half to help the Raptors cruise past the Cavaliers.
LeBron James did not play for the Cavaliers, who lost Channing Frye to a sprained right ankle. Kevin Love led Cleveland with 19 points and four rebounds.
RAPTORS: DeMarre Carroll had 13 points, five rebounds and five assists in 18 minutes. … Cory Joseph had 17 points on 7-for-10 shooting in 19 minutes. … Coach Dwane Casey told reporters Terrence Ross did not play after hurting his knee while throwing down a 360 dunk in a team scrimmage earlier in the week. … The Raptors lost by 38 the last time they were in Quicken Loans Arena, for Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals.
CAVALIERS: Tristan Thompson made his preseason debut and had eight points and three rebounds in 21 minutes. He has been dealing with a sore left foot. … Kyrie Irving had 13 points and eight assists. … Richard Jefferson started in place of James at small forward, scoring four points in 18 minutes. … The Cavs continue to play without J.R. Smith, the shooting guard who has yet to sign a contract despite public lobbying by James, Love and the rest of the team.
UP NEXT: Toronto (2-2) hosts Buenos Aires on Friday. Cleveland (2-2) visits Chicago on Friday.
PISTONS 99, HAWKS 94
ATLANTA — Ish Smith and Tobias Harris scored 18 points apiece and the Pistons claimed their first preseason win.
Dennis Schroder led the Hawks with 17 points, along with nine assists. Dwight Howard added 15 points and nine rebounds.
PISTONS: Detroit bounced back from a 33-19 deficit after the first quarter. … C Andre Drummond (illness) and F Marcus Morris (mild knee tendinitis) were held out. Aron Baynes (16 points) and Jon Leuer (a team-high nine rebounds) filled in for the Pistons.
HAWKS: After shooting 60 percent from the field in the opening period, the Hawks made only 24 of 63 (38 percent) the rest of the way. … Atlanta played again without F Paul Millsap (right knee, illness) and G Jarrett Jack (right knee rehabilitation), who have yet to suit up during the preseason. … C-F Tiago Splitter will miss at least four weeks with a strained right hamstring, which means he won’t be ready for the start of the regular season Oct. 27.
UP NEXT: Detroit (1-2) travels to Philadelphia on Saturday. Atlanta (2-2) plays at Orlando on Sunday.
CELTICS 100, NETS 97
NEW YORK — Al Horford had 13 points and nine rebounds to lead the Celtics over the Nets.
Luis Scola had 14 points, 11 rebounds and five assists in 28 minutes for the Nets.
CELTICS: Marcus Smart scored 13 points and was a plus-14 in 22 minutes off the bench. … All-Star Isaiah Thomas scored 12 points in 19 minutes. … Jae Crowder had a rough night, going 0 for 5 from the field and scoring just two points.
NETS: Jeremy Lin had 12 points and seven assists. … Trevor Booker started at power forward and had 11 points and 12 rebounds in 30 minutes.
UP NEXT: Boston (3-1) goes to New York to play the Knicks on Saturday. Brooklyn (1-3) heads to Boston to play the Celtics on Monday.
CLIPPERS 109, TRAIL BLAZERS 108
LOS ANGELES — Jamal Crawford hit a jumper with 0.2 seconds left to hand the Trail Blazers their first loss of the preseason.
C.J. McCollum had 20 points, five rebounds and four assists for the Blazers, who trailed by 18 in the first half before rallying to take the lead late.
TRAIL BLAZERS: Mason Plumlee fouled out in just 11 minutes. … Al-Farouq Aminu was ejected in the third quarter for arguing with the officials. … Grant Jerrett, fighting for the last spot on the roster, hit a 3-pointer with 34 seconds to play that tied the game at 107. … Damian Lillard scored 19 points and had five assists.
CLIPPERS: Blake Griffin led the way with 26 points. … After Crawford hit his jumper, DeAndre Jordan ran from the bench on to the court thinking that the game was over. But there was still time on the clock, so Jordan was assessed a technical foul. It was his second technical of the game, so he was ejected. … Crawford finished with seven points. … Brandon Bass and Mo Speights each scored 16 points.
UP NEXT: Portland (3-1) returns home to play Denver on Sunday. Los Angeles (2-2) hits the road to face Utah.
KINGS 116, LAKERS 104
LAS VEGAS — Anthony Tolliver hit all seven of his 3-pointers for 21 points to lead the Kings over the Lakers.
D’Angelo Russell continued his impressive preseason with 31 points in 33 minutes for the Lakers. The second-year point guard also had 11 assists and hit 5 of 6 3-pointers.
KINGS: DeMarcus Cousins was given the night off. … Darren Collison added 20 points and seven assists. Rudy Gay had 19 points and seven assists. … The Kings shot 58.7 percent, including 62 percent (13 for 21) from 3-point range. … They had 31 assists and 17 turnovers.
LAKERS: Jordan Clarkson scored 18 points in 23 minutes off the bench. … Lou Williams started at shooting guard alongside Russell in the backcourt. … The Lakers had 31 assists and only 12 turnovers. … They outscored the Kings 36-20 in the third quarter to trim an 18-point deficit to two, but faded in the fourth.
UP NEXT: Sacramento (2-2) takes Wildcats DeMarcus Cousins and Willie Cauley-Stein back to Lexington, Kentucky to play Washington at Rupp Arena on Saturday. The Lakers (2-3) stay in Vegas and will play Golden State on Saturday.