New York’s Julius Randle looks for a way past Orlando’s Moritz Wagner on Friday in Orlando, Fla. John Raoux/Associated Press

ORLANDO, Fla. — Julius Randle had 21 points and 10 rebounds, and the New York Knicks improved to 2-0 for the first time since the 2012-13 season, cruising to a 121-96 win over the Orlando Magic on Friday night.

Evan Fournier added 18 points for the Knicks, who opened the season with a double-overtime win over Boston on Wednesday.

New York had it easier in Orlando’s home opener. The Knicks made a franchise-record 24 3-pointers against the rebuilding Magic (0-2), who fell behind by 31 points in the second quarter and were hardly competitive. New York’s biggest lead was 34 points.

Immanuel Quickley hit four 3s and scored 16 points and Obit Toppin contributed 13 points. The Knicks shot 50% overall and 24 of 54 (44.4%) from beyond the arc.

Rookie Franz Wagner led the Magic with 16 points, making 4 of 5 from 3-point range. Mo Bamba added 15 points and 11 rebounds for Orlando, which shot 41% from the floor. Rookie Jalen Suggs scored 14 points on 4-of-17 shooting.

Fournier, who starred for Orlando from 2014-21 before being traded last spring, made four 3s.

NETS 114, 76ERS 109: Kevin Durant had 29 points, 15 rebounds and 12 assists, James Harden scored 20 points and Brooklyn closed with a 16-1 run to win in Philadelphia as each team played without a much-discussed star guard.

The Nets were missing Kyrie Irving, who isn’t with the team due to his refusal to get a COVID-19 vaccine. Ben Simmons sat out the home opener for personal reasons and the Sixers do not know when the three-time All-Star will return.

They could have used Simmons’ defense to shut down the Nets late.

The Sixers tossed up airballs on consecutive possessions early in Brooklyn’s run. The Nets had never led or tied until LaMarcus Aldridge’s dunk with 48 seconds left made it 108-108. He sank the free throw for the one-point lead.

Durant made two free throws to seal Brooklyn’s comeback from 14 points down.

HORNETS 123, CAVALIERS 112: Miles Bridges scored 30 points, Kelly Oubre Jr. added 25 and Charlotte took advantage of Cleveland’s sloppiness to open the fourth quarter in a victory, wrecking the Cavaliers’ home opener.

The Hornets only led by one entering the final 12 minutes before outscoring the Cavs 19-2 in the first 3:27, when Cleveland turned the ball over seven times.

Gordon Hayward made two 3-pointes in the decisive run as Charlotte won its second straight to open the season.

BULLS 128, PELICANS 112: Zach LaVine scored 32 points, DeMar DeRozan added 26 and Chicago beat New Orleans in its home opener.

Chicago’s Lonzo Ball added a triple-double against his former team with 17 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. And the Bulls delighted their fans, rolling to an easy victory with Pelicans star Zion Williams recovering from surgery on his right foot.

LaVine welcomed the crowd prior to the first game at the United Center without capacity restrictions since the 2019-20 season, then put on a dazzling display.

ROCKETS 124, THUNDER 91: Christian Wood had 31 points and 14 rebounds and Houston beat Oklahoma City in the Rockets’ home opener.

Oklahoma City had few answers for Wood, who went 13 for 19 from the field, including 4 of 6 from the 3-point line. Fourth in Most Improved Player voting last season, he also blocked four shots and had a steal.

The Rockets looked much better than they did in their 124-106 season-opening loss in Minnesota on Wednesday night.

WIZARDS 135, PACERS 134: Davis Bertans made a tiebreaking 3-pointer with 34.4 seconds left in overtime, and Washington overcame the absence of Bradley Beal, winning at home.

Beal was out because of hip problems, but Spencer Dinwiddie scored 34 points in his home debut for the Wizards, including a 3-pointer to tie the game with 33.6 seconds left in the fourth quarter.

Indiana scored the first six points of overtime, but the Wizards fought back to tie it on another 3 by Dinwiddie. It was tied at 131 when Washington had the ball in a potential two-for-one situation in the final minute of overtime. Bertans sank his fourth 3-pointer of the game to put the Wizards ahead to stay.

Chris Duarte missed a 3 at the other end for Indiana, and Kyle Kuzma made a free throw with 6.7 seconds left to give Washington a four-point lead.

NOTES

CELTICS: Boston Coach Ime Udoka said he hasn’t talked to center Enes Kanter about the player’s criticism of the Chinese government that led to the team’s games being pulled off television there.

“We know it’s out there,” Udoka said before the team’s home opener against the Toronto Raptors. “He is very passionate about a lot of things and he has the freedom to say what he wants. That’s above my department.”

In a series of social media posts, Kanter proclaimed his support for Tibetan independence and called Chinese President Xi Jinping a “dictator.” Kanter also wore shoes with the phrase “Free Tibet” on them during the New York Knicks game on Wednesday.

“More than 150 Tibetan people have burned themselves alive!! – hoping that such an act would raise more awareness about Tibet,” he wrote on Twitter. “I stand with my Tibetan brothers and sisters, and I support their calls for Freedom.”

Chinese broadcaster Tencent did not show the Celtics’ opener against the Knicks on streaming services that typically air the games, an apparent response to Kanter’s statements.

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesperson Wang Wenbin said Thursday that Kanter was “clout-chasing, trying to get attention with Tibet-related issues.”

76ERS: Ben Simmons sat out Philadelphia’s home opener for personal reasons and the franchise does not know when the three-time All-Star will return.

Simmons was suspended for the first game of the season for conduct detrimental to the team after Coach Doc Rivers threw him out of practice for refusing to participate in a drill. He returned Friday and addressed the team before the shootaround for the opener against Brooklyn. Rivers said it was a “productive day” and hoped the meeting was a start toward bringing Simmons back into the fold.

“It still doesn’t mean things will work out perfect, or it could,” Rivers said. “I’ve always believed that. I’ve never wavered from that.”

Simmons averaged 15.9 points, 8.1 rebounds and 7.7 assists over four seasons with Philadelphia, which drafted him No. 1 in 2016 out of LSU, where he played only one season.

His defining moment as a Sixer came when he passed up a wide-open dunk against Atlanta in the second round of last year’s playoffs that would have tied the game late in Game 7. Simmons took the blame for Philly’s early postseason exit.

Rivers said he didn’t want to predict when Simmons might rejoin the Sixers – if the guard returns at all.

SUNS: Phoenix released a statement regarding a potential media investigation into the workplace culture of the franchise, denying that the organization or owner Robert Sarver have a history of racism or sexism.

The statement sent Friday said the organization is aware that ESPN is working on a story accusing the organization of misconduct on a “variety of topics.” The Suns responded by saying they were “completely baseless claims” and “documentary evidence in our possession and eyewitness accounts directly contradict the reporter’s accusations, and we are preparing our response to his questions.”

Sarver – a Phoenix businessman – has owned the Suns since 2004.

Suns General Manager James Jones, who is Black, said in the team’s response: “None of what’s been said describes the Robert Sarver I know, respect and like – it just doesn’t.”


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