LeBron James and Russell Westbrook have been on one facet. Kevin Durant, James Harden and Kyrie Irving sat on the opposite.

Safe to say there will not be a greater assortment of benchwarmers in an NBA sport this season.

Brooklyn and the Los Angeles Lakers kicked off the league’s preseason schedule Sunday, although did so largely with out their largest names within the Nets’ 123-97 victory.

Anthony Davis began for the Lakers and made the primary basket of the preseason. But James, Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony will all wait a minimum of yet another sport earlier than getting began.

Brooklyn performed with out its Big Three, together with starters Blake Griffin and Joe Harris, together with newcomers Patty Mills and James Johnson.

Davis performed the primary quarter and scored six factors.

LaMarcus Aldridge began for the Nets after rejoining the staff following his retirement final season after experiencing an irregular heartbeat. He scored six factors in quarter-hour.

Rookie Cam Thomas led the Nets with 21 factors. Bruce Brown added 12 and veteran Paul Millsap, who joined the staff within the offseason, had 10 factors and 10 rebounds.

Malik Monk scored 15 factors in his first sport with the Lakers. Brooklyn outscored Los Angeles 39-16 within the fourth quarter.

The assortment of names have made each groups among the many favorites for the NBA title. They are scheduled to satisfy once more on the identical Staples Center ground because the spotlight of the Christmas schedule and can be on nationwide TV loads of instances.

Both had disappointing postseasons whereas battling accidents. The Nets have been overwhelmed by eventual champion Milwaukee within the second spherical with Irving sidelined and Harden nonetheless hobbled by a hamstring harm that had price him a pair video games within the sequence. The Lakers fell within the first spherical to Phoenix with Davis making it via simply 5 minutes of the clincher after lacking all of Game 5 with a groin harm.

That possible factored into Nets coach Steve Nash and the Lakers’ Frank Vogel — whose staff was taking part in within the NBA Finals only a yr in the past at the moment — deciding to attend a bit longer to play their prime gamers after coaching camps solely opened Tuesday.

Most groups will start Monday on a nine-game night time.

Nash mentioned after the sport he had no replace on Irving’s standing when the Nets return to Brooklyn for observe this week. Players a lot be vaccinated to play or observe in New York and Irving did not be part of his teammates at Barclays Center for media day on Monday earlier than they flew to San Diego for coaching camp. He appeared by Zoom and requested for privateness when requested about his vaccination standing.

Dwight Howard, who performed on the Lakers’ 2020 champions and has returned to Los Angeles after taking part in final season for Philadelphia, had an eventful afternoon. He had 11 factors, six rebounds, a technical foul and a flagrant foul earlier than fouling out in 13 minutes. He shot a free throw after selecting up his sixth foul earlier than referees corrected the error and took the purpose off the board.