Injuries and illness had a clear impact on Tuesday’s slate of NBA preseason games.
And that was just among coaches.
New Orleans coach Alvin Gentry missed his team’s game against Atlanta with stomach discomfort, and Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer — already wearing a sling after undergoing surgery on his right hand Monday — left that matchup when Pelicans guard Langston Galloway knocked him over while attempting to save a loose ball.
The good news is that neither is expected to miss time when the games start counting for real next week.
More good news: Neither is Kyrie Irving.
On the night Cleveland got its starting lineup from Game 7 of last season’s NBA Finals together for the first time in this exhibition schedule, now that J.R. Smith has re-signed, Irving left in the second quarter of the Cavaliers’ matchup against Washington with a left calf strain. Irving, who went scoreless in 10 minutes, joined a long list of players who are dealing with aches and pains as the preseason winds down.
Here’s just some of those who were slowed or sidelined Tuesday:
— Miami was without Justise Winslow (back) and Luke Babbitt (groin), and still haven’t seen Josh McRoberts (foot) and Josh Richardson (knee) on the floor in the preseason. Hassan Whiteside also missed the game because of a death in his family, and James Johnson tweaked his left foot to sideline him for the second half.
— Orlando sat Aaron Gordon (ankle) and Bismack Biyombo (rest).
— Washington’s Otto Porter (ribs) missed his second straight contest.
— Denver played without Emmanuel Mudiay (right ankle) and Wilson Chandler (rest), plus were again missing Darrell Arthur (left knee) and Gary Harris (right groin).
— With Gentry out, the Pelicans were led by associate head coach Darren Erman. And Erman went without Anthony Davis (right ankle), E’Twaun Moore (right heel), Tyreke Evans (right knee), Quincy Pondexter (left knee), Robert Sacre (right foot) and Jrue Holiday (personal).
— The Clippers played without Paul Pierce in Sacramento, after the veteran sprained an ankle while warming up for the game.
WIZARDS 96, CAVALIERS 91
COLUMBUS, Ohio — Cleveland’s forward trio of LeBron James (18), Kevin Love (15) and Tristan Thompson (14) combined for 47 points in the defending champs’ final tune-up game, none of them playing down the stretch as Washington held on for the win.
Thompson also grabbed 10 rebounds for the Cavaliers.
Andrew Nicholson scored 19 points and John Wall added 17 for Washington, which got four free throws from Marcus Thornton in the final 19 seconds. Thornton finished with 16 points.
WIZARDS: Columbus native Trey Burke got a custom Columbus Crew MLS jersey before the game. … Bradley Beal was back in the starting lineup, scoring 13 points.
CAVALIERS: Playing at Ohio State was, as one would expect, a big deal for James. “We all know that it’s always been a special place for me,” James said. … Smith shot 1-for-4, finishing with four points.
UP NEXT: Washington (3-3) hosts Toronto on Friday. Cleveland’s preseason is complete, and the Cavaliers (2-4) will host New York on Oct. 25 to open their title defense.
HEAT 107, MAGIC 77
MIAMI — Goran Dragic scored 17 points and handed out five assists for Miami, which got 16 points and 11 rebounds from Willie Reed.
Dion Waiters and Tyler Johnson each scored 15 for Miami. Serge Ibaka scored 15 points and grabbed nine rebounds for Orlando.
MAGIC: Elfrid Payton shot 1 for 8, missing his final six shots. … Evan Fournier scored 10 for the Magic, who missed 16 of their first 17 tries from 3-point range. … Orlando was held to 19 points or less in three of the four quarters.
HEAT: Waiters made a 40-footer to end the first half. … Wayne Ellington added 12 for the Heat. … Miami was 11 for 11 from the foul line.
UP NEXT: Miami (4-2) is at Charlotte on Thursday. Orlando (1-5) hosts New Orleans on Thursday.
HAWKS 96, PELICANS 89
ATLANTA — Dwight Howard had 10 points and 11 rebounds in 23 minutes, while Kyle Korver and Dennis Schroder each had 13 as Atlanta went with what’s likely to be its opening-night starters.
Tim Hardaway Jr. led Atlanta with 16 points off the bench. Terrence Jones had a game-high 18 points for New Orleans.
PELICANS: Rookie Buddy Hield got his first start of the preseason, scoring 13. … Solomon Hill scored 13 and Dante Cunningham added 11 for New Orleans.
HAWKS: Darvin Ham took over when Budenholzer got hurt. … Howard also had four steals and three blocked shots.
UP NEXT: New Orleans (1-4) is at Orlando on Thursday. Atlanta (4-2) is at Chicago on Thursday.
THUNDER 97, NUGGETS 87
OKLAHOMA CITY —- Steven Adams had 17 points and nine rebounds for Oklahoma City.
Enes Kanter had 15 points and Russell Westbrook had 12 points and nine assists in 18 minutes for the Thunder. Danilo Gallinari led Denver with 18 points.
NUGGETS: The Nuggets shot 27 percent in the first half and 35 percent for the game. … Jamal Murray missed 12 of his 16 shots. … Jusef Nurkic grabbed 13 rebounds.
THUNDER: Anthony Morrow was not with the team because his twin sons were born earlier in the day. … Alex Abrines sat out with a hip flexor injury. … Westbrook got a technical in the second quarter.
UP NEXT: The Nuggets (3-4) host Dallas in their preseason finale on Friday. The Thunder (3-3) are finished with their preseason and open the regular season Oct. 26 at Philadelphia.
CLIPPERS 92, KINGS 89
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — J.J. Redick scored 18 points in 22 minutes for Los Angeles, which became the first visiting NBA team to play at Sacramento’s new Golden 1 Center.
Blake Griffin scored 12 points for the Clippers. DeMarcus Cousins led all scorers with 23 for the Kings.
CLIPPERS: Chris Paul had eight points, eight assists, four rebounds and three steals in just over two quarters. … The Clippers led by 21 midway through the fourth quarter, then got outscored 22-4 the rest of the way.
KINGS: Ben McLemore finished with 11 points, six rebounds and five assists. … Kosta Koufos went 5 for 6 from the floor, scoring 10 points. … Sacramento scored 30 points in the first quarter, then managed 35 in the next two quarters combined.
UP NEXT: Both teams ended the preseason with 3-3 records. The Clippers open the season at Portland on Oct. 27. The Kings open at Phoenix on Oct. 26.
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