WASHINGTON • The Brooklyn Nets' Jeremy Lin suffered a season-ending right knee injury, while Ben Simmons was beaten in his debut as the new National Basketball Association (NBA) season tipped off on Wednesday for most clubs.
A day after the Boston Celtics' Gordon Hayward suffered a broken ankle, it was Lin, the NBA's first American player of Chinese heritage, who went down in a 140-131 home win for the Indiana Pacers.
Lin, who scored 18 points, was hurt with 4min 53sec remaining, landing awkwardly after a drive to the basket and had to be helped off the court.
The Nets yesterday confirmed in a statement that the 29-year-old had been diagnosed with a ruptured patella tendon of the right knee and was set to miss the rest of the season. He played only 36 games last season owing to nagging hamstring injuries.
Hayward made an emotional video appearance at the Celtics' home opener saying he would be "all right".
But it was the Greek star Giannis Antetokounmpo who spoiled the night, scoring 37 points and grabbing 13 rebounds to propel the Milwaukee Bucks to a 108-100 win.
Simmons, a 21-year-old forward, was chosen as the top pick in last year's NBA Draft by the Philadelphia 76ers, but missed all of last season with a broken right foot.
The Australian made his much-anticipated debut at Washington, where the 76ers lost their season opener to the Wizards 120-115 despite his contribution of 18 points, 10 rebounds and five assists.
OVER THE MOON
To see (Joel) Embiid out there... I'm like, 'Man, I'm actually here'. It was fun.
BEN SIMMONS, Philadelphia 76ers forward, is happy to finally make his first appearance alongside another long-term injury victim, Joel Embiid.
"I felt like I was playing (a video game), honestly," he said.
John Wall scored 28 points and Bradley Beal added 25 for the Wizards, but they had only a 115-113 edge with 1min 44sec remaining after Simmons sank two free throws to cap a 7-2 run.
But turnovers doomed two late chances for the 76ers, and their hosts went five of six from the free throw line to seal the win.
"How about Ben Simmons' first game in the NBA?", 76ers coach Brett Brown said.
"His first game was really exceptional - really, really exceptional."
Joel Embiid, who was also making his comeback, had 18 points and 13 rebounds in 27 minutes after injuries restricted him to only 31 games in his first three seasons.
"To see Embiid out there... I'm like, 'Man, I'm actually here'. It was fun," said Simmons.
The Detroit Pistons made a winning debut at their new home, Little Caesars Arena, a 102-90 success over the Charlotte Hornets, while the San Antonio Spurs beat visitors Minnesota Timberwolves 107-99.
The Houston Rockets won 105-100 at the Sacramento Kings, courtesy of 27 points from James Harden.
LA CLIPPERS V LA LAKERS
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