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NBA Wrap: Pacers drop Raptors to stay unbeaten

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NBA Wrap: Pacers drop Raptors to stay unbeaten

INDIANAPOLIS -- Paul George scored 17 of his 23 points in the third quarter and the Indiana Pacers beat the Toronto Raptors 91-84 Friday night to improve to 6-0 and match the best start in franchise history.

Roy Hibbert added a season-high 20 points and seven rebounds as the Pacers remained the NBA's lone undefeated team.

Rudy Gay scored a season-high 30 points on 12-of-26 shooting for the Raptors, who lost their third straight to fall to 2-4. Amir Johnson added 12 points and 10 rebounds. The Raptors shot 39.5 percent from the field, becoming the sixth consecutive opponent Indiana has held to 40 percent shooting or worse.

The Pacers improved to 6-0 for the first time since the 1970-71, when the club played in the ABA. They rallied from a halftime deficit for the fifth time this season. Indiana overcame 16 turnovers to shoot 46.2 percent (see full recap).

Wizards edge Nets in overtime
WASHINGTON -- Nene scored 12 of his 20 points in the final 4 minutes of the fourth quarter, including a putback with 1.2 seconds to play that sent the game to overtime, and Trevor Ariza hit the go-ahead 3-pointer in the extra period Friday night as the Washington Wizards topped the Brooklyn Nets 112-108.

Bradley Beal scored 29 points, John Wall had 17 points and 14 assists, and Marcin Gortat had 18 pionts and 12 rebounds for the Wizards, who nearly held Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce scoreless for the first time since they were rookies in the 1990s.

Garnett didn't score until his 18-footer with 3:40 to play in regulation, and Pierce waited until overtime before hitting a jumper than nearly spurred the Nets to victory. Pierce was a game-time decision to play after missing the morning shootaround with an illness (see full recap).

Spurs quiet Warriors
SAN ANTONIO -- Tony Parker scored 18 points, including the last seven for San Antonio, and the Spurs held on for a 76-74 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Friday night.

Parker, however, missed two free throws with 16.4 seconds remaining that gave Golden State a final chance. Andre Iguodala drove to the basket and tried a layup that rolled off the rim.

It was the first game between the teams since the second round of the Western Conference playoffs, which the Spurs won 4-2.

Kawhi Leonard added 13 points for the Spurs, who improved to a conference-best 5-1 (see full recap).

With Markelle Fultz and Ben Simmons set to debut, John Wall and Bradley Beal recall their early days

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With Markelle Fultz and Ben Simmons set to debut, John Wall and Bradley Beal recall their early days

The Sixers will have two No. 1 overall picks make their NBA debuts on Wednesday night in Markelle Fultz (2017) and Ben Simmons (2016). They are in for a challenge with the Wizards, one of the best teams in basketball, and with guards John Wall and Bradley Beal.

Wall and Beal know that challenge well. They were both top draft picks in their own right, Wall the first pick in 2010 and Beal the third pick in 2012. They can recall in specifics their first games in the NBA and how humbling they were.

"My first game, I was going against Dwight Howard. It was fun," Wall said. "There was a lot of pressure. There were a lot of people talking."

It's often said that the point guard position is as deep as it's ever been nowadays. The last three MVP awards have gone to point guards, for instance.

There were some good ones back in 2010, too.

"I remember in a five-game span I played like [Rajon] Rondo, Derrick Rose here and then I went out west and played Steve Nash, Chris Paul and Russell [Westbrook]," Wall said. "I don't think it's gotten any harder than it was back then in 2010 with those five guys. You kind of understand what those guys are about when you get to see it firsthand and play against them."

Beal vividly remembers going up against the LeBron James-led Miami Heat as a 19-year-old. It wasn't easy.

"It was the Heat when they had [Dwyane Wade] and LeBron on the same team. That's when D-Wade was electrifying. He still had his quickness. He was strong as I don't know what and I was a baby at that time," he said.

"For me, it was like I was in awe because those are the guys I grew up watching and I was a fan of. Now I'm playing against them and I can't be a fan of them. It was amazing to play against them, but also an eye-opener like, I need to get better."

Now it's Fultz and Simmons' turn to see what matching up with NBA superstars is like and don't expect Wall or Beal to take it easy on them.

"I'm a competitive person, so I'm not going to back down from any challenge," Wall said.

Joel Embiid to start Sixers' season opener, but how much will he play?

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Joel Embiid to start Sixers' season opener, but how much will he play?

WASHINGTON — The first starting lineup of the Sixers' 2017-18 season will be Ben Simmons, Jerryd Bayless, JJ Redick, Robert Covington and Joel Embiid.

Brown is sticking with the group that closed out preseason competition. That group has a balance of veterans and young talent, including Simmons making his NBA debut after missing all of last season with a foot injury.

"It helps a lot (starting together in the preseason) because you're learning guys and how they move and how they play," Simmons said. "I think we have a pretty good connection going into tonight's game and it's only going to get better."

Embiid will be under a minutes restriction but Brown does not have a definitive number. The big man previously said he expected to play 16 minutes. Embiid was the last one to leave the court at the conclusion of shootaround. 

"There's a range that we'll work with," Brown said. "We're going to feel it together. We'll play Joel within some parameters and go from that base." 

Markelle Fultz also will make his NBA debut. The No. 1 pick, who has battled right knee and shoulder soreness, will come off the bench in front of his hometown crowd. 

"I'm excited," Fultz said. "It's anything you can wish for."