Anthony Davis' first game as a pro was a loss, but the New Orleans Hornets look to rebound Friday when they host the Utah Jazz in the Big Easy.
Davis scored 21 points and grabbed seven rebounds in 29 minutes Wednesday when the Hornets fell to the San Antonio Spurs, 99-95. Davis played some at small forward and left the game's best coach impressed.
"He is very talented, and they are going to be very scary in two or three years," said Spurs' head coach Gregg Popovich. "They are going to be a very good team. They have great young guys, they're well coached, and they're going to be good."
Davis wasn't the only Hornet who played well on Wednesday. Al-Farouq Aminu netted 17 points, Jason Smith came off the bench with 12 and offseason acquisition Ryan Anderson scored 11.
Davis' fellow first-round pick, Austin Rivers, only had seven points, but he started at the shooting guard in place of the injured Eric Gordon, who is out indefinitely with a knee problem.
The Hornets shot a decent 43.8 percent from the field against the Spurs, but San Antonio shot 47.5 percent, which is too high a number to give up to a good team.
The Jazz bested the Dallas Mavericks, 113-94, on Wednesday thanks to great frontcourt play. Al Jefferson and Paul Millsap both had double-doubles and the new pair of Williams', small forward Marvin and point guard Mo, both had 21.
The Jazz blew the doors off the Mavericks in the third quarter when Utah outscored Dallas, 37-13.
"We played better, certainly than we did in the first half," said head coach Tyrone Corbin. "Everybody on the floor understood at halftime that we were better than what we demonstrated at the end of the second quarter."
The Jazz held the Mavs to 37.6 percent shooting from the floor in their season-opener, but what was more spectacular was that the Jazz shot fractionally better from the 3-point line (42.9 percent) than they did in overall field-goal percentage (42.7 percent).
But the story for the Jazz in the opener was Mo and Marvin Williams. They were both picked up in offseason trades with Mo coming from the Los Angeles Clippers and Marvin from the Atlanta Hawks.
The two combined for 42 points, five rebounds, seven assists, only three turnovers. They shot 14-for-29 from the field, 4-for-7 from the 3-point line and a perfect 10-for-10 from the foul line.
"They have been super all training camp and it's going to transfer all season long," Jazz coach Tyrone Corbin said of the two Williams'. "These guys are very proud guys, they are true professionals. They take it personal and they go out there and make sure they try and get stops on the defensive end and let the offense generate from there."
Utah has won six of the last 10 against the Hornets, but lost three of the last four in New Orleans.