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AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) James Harden had 37 points and 12 assists in a stirring debut for Houston, and Carlos Delfino made four 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to lift the Rockets to a 105-96 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Wednesday night.

Detroit led 83-72 early in the fourth, but Harden and Delfino brought the Rockets back. Houston acquired Harden on Saturday night in a trade with Oklahoma City and agreed Wednesday on a five-year, $80 million contract extension with him.

The reigning Sixth Man of the Year certainly looked worth it in the season opener. Harden fell just short of his career high of 40 points, and his 12 assists were a career best.

Brandon Knight led Detroit with 15 points.

PACERS 90, RAPTORS 88

TORONTO (AP) - George Hill scored the go-ahead basket with two seconds left, completing the Pacers' rally for a season-opening win over the Raptors.

David West scored 14 of his 25 points in the fourth quarter, and Paul George had 14 points and 15 rebounds for the Pacers, who trailed 84-74 with just under six minutes left. Roy Hibbert added 14 points for Indiana.

Kyle Lowry led Toronto with 21 points, and Jonas Valanciunas had 12 points and 10 rebounds in his NBA debut. Andrea Bargnani had 16 points, and Jose Calderon added 15 for the Raptors.

SPURS 99, HORNETS 95

NEW ORLEANS (AP) - Tim Duncan scored 24 points, Tony Parker hit a huge 3-pointer, and the Spurs opened the season with a victory over the Hornets in the debut for top draft pick Anthony Davis.

Davis scored 21 points and grabbed seven rebounds, a promising start for the player who spent only one year at Kentucky, leading the Wildcats to the national title.

But the wily Spurs showed the rebuilding Hornets a thing or two.

After Davis made two free throws with 1:08 remaining to give New Orleans its final lead, 95-94, the Spurs closed strong. Parker connected from beyond the arc with 49.6 seconds left, finishing with 23 points. After Greivis Vasquez missed an open 3, Duncan padded the lead with two fouls shots.

BULLS 93, KINGS 87

CHICAGO (AP) - Joakim Noah scored 23 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, and the Bulls got off to a good start without Derrick Rose, beating the Kings in the season opener.

Richard Hamilton added 19 points, while Carlos Boozer chipped in with 18 points and eight rebounds.

The Bulls are out to show they can get by while their superstar recovers from a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, and this was promising even if it was a struggle.

Chicago led by 14 after a 10-0 run in the third quarter and hung on in the fourth after the Kings closed within three several times.

76ERS 84, NUGGETS 75

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - Spencer Hawes had 16 points and 12 rebounds to lead the 76ers to a win over the Nuggets.

Hawes had a crowd of nearly 20,000 fans chanting ``Spen-cer Hawes!'' in the fourth quarter after he turned back the Nuggets with a string of big baskets and blocked shots. Coming off the bench, Hawes had five blocked shots. Jrue Holiday had 14 and 11 assists, and Dorell Wright scored 14 points.

The Sixers won the opener with center Andrew Bynum out with a bone bruise on his right knee.

Ty Lawson led Denver with 16 points in his first game since signing an $18 million, four-year extension. Andre Iguodala scored 11 points in his first game since the Sixers traded him to Denver in the four-team deal that netted them Bynum.

JAZZ 113, MAVERICKS 94

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - Mo Williams and Marvin Williams each scored 21 points to lead the Jazz to a victory over the Mavericks.

Paul Millsap added 15 rebounds and 13 points. Al Jefferson also had a double-double with 14 rebounds and 12 points.

The score was tied at 70 before Mo Williams hit back-to-back 3-pointers then scored on a driving layup. Marvin Williams followed with his second 3-pointer, putting Utah up 11 points with 2:57 left in the third. The Jazz led by as many as 20.

Darren Collison scored 17 points for the Mavs, who pulled off an upset win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday but couldn't match Utah's pace in the second half.

The Jazz held a 44-30 advantage on points in the paint and 61-40 edge in rebounds as Dallas continued to play without 11-time All-Star forward Dirk Nowitzki and 7-0 center Chris Kaman.

WARRIORS 87, SUNS 85

PHOENIX (AP) - Carl Landry scored 14 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter and the Golden State Warriors overcame an awful post-contract night by Stephen Curry to beat the Suns in the teams' season opener.

Curry, who earlier in the day agreed to a four-year, $44 million extension with the Warriors, missed his first 10 shots from the field and wound up 2 of 14 with five points. He missed two free throws with 4.4 seconds left to allow the Suns a chance at a game-winning shot, but Sebastian Telfair's 3-point attempt came after the buzzer, and misfired anyway.

Goran Dragic had 17 points and Luis Scola added 15 points and 11 rebounds in the Suns' first game in the post-Steve Nash era.

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These hidden factors could make Brandon Scherff less interested in an extension with the Redskins

These hidden factors could make Brandon Scherff less interested in an extension with the Redskins

In Brandon Scherff, the Redskins have a 27-year-old guard who has delivered on his first-round status, a lineman who has become one of the best in the league at his position and should have many more years of production and defender-mauling left.

Therefore, it's in the Redskins' best interest to extend Scherff this offseason, and the veteran confirmed on Monday there have been talks about getting that done

But during a discussion on the Redskins Talk podcast, J.I. Halsell, a salary cap expert and former agent, laid out something that could force those negotiations to stall.

"There are some things you have to take into consideration because 2020 is the final year of the collective bargaining agreement, so there are some things you have to work around when structuring the deal," Halsell said.

Not only is that deadline approaching, but another one is, too. In 2021 and 2022, the NFL's TV deals with Monday Night Football, FOX, CBS and NBC expire as well.

So, there's a very real possibility the league's salary cap could look much, much different in a few seasons. And that, according to Halsell, may make Scherff much less willing to accept an extension now.

"If you're Brandon Scherff, in 2021, with a new collective bargaining agreement, the salary cap might be $250 million or something crazy like that, with all the new revenue coming into the league," he explained. "And so why would I take a deal today and preclude myself of taking advantage of a very lucrative and larger revenue pie?"

Essentially, it comes down to whether Scherff wants to take a present risk that could pay off down the line (kind of like how Kirk Cousins did a few years back with the Burgundy and Gold). He could probably lock something in over the next few months — Halsell's projection was an agreement for five years, including $45 million guaranteed and a $14.5 million average per year — or step away from talks now and try to cash in later.

Haslell told Redskins Talk he'd probably advise the lineman to take the second route.

"You would say, 'Look, you're a former first-round pick. You've made a decent amount of money in your career thus far,'" he said. "You have the financial wherewithal to not take the bird in hand today that may not be as lucrative as what is out there in 2021. So, bet on yourself and play out the last year of your rookie deal, force them to tag you in 2020 and then see what this new NFL salary cap world looks like in 2021."

Now, who knows truly how much these factors will play into Scherff's back-and-forth with the 'Skins. Nevertheless, you can see why the Pro Bowler's next contract may not be as much of a no-brainer as previously thought.

"If the kid is willing to bet on himself," Haslell said, "then it could be very lucrative on the back end."

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2019 NBA Draft prospect profile: Nickeil Walker-Alexander

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2019 NBA Draft prospect profile: Nickeil Walker-Alexander

The Washington Wizards will have the ninth overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft. Here is the latest in our series on draft prospects who could fall around where the Wizards will select...

2019 NBA Draft Wizards Prospect Preview: Nickeil Walker-Alexander

School: Virginia Tech
Position: Guard
Age: 20 (turns 21 in September)
Height: 6-6
Weight: 204
Wingspan: 6-10
Max vertical: N/A

2018/19 stats: 16.2 ppg, 4.1 rpg, 4.0 apg, 1.9 spg, 0.5 bpg, 47.4 FG% (5.6/11.8), 37.4 3PT% (1.7/4.6), 77.8 FT%

Player comparison: Shai-Gilgeous Alexander, Tomas Satoransky

Projections: NBC Sports Washington 19th, NBADraft.net 14th, Bleacher Report 18th, Sports Illustrated 20th, Ringer 16th

5 things to know:

*Walker-Alexander is a big guard known for his offensive skillset. He can handle the ball, pass and score in a variety of ways. He can play both point guard and shooting guard and affect games with his passing at either spot. 

*He was an excellent three-point shooter in college. As a freshman, he shot 39.2 percent from long range on 4.5 attempts per game. His percentage dipped as a sophomore to 37.4 percent, but that was still impressive given he attempted 4.6 shots per game. 

*Walker-Alexander has a plus wingspan, which he uses to his advantage on defense. He averaged 1.9 steals per game this past season in Blacksburg and his highlight reels are flooded with open court dunks off turnovers. He appears to have strong instincts as a perimeter defender, but could struggle initially at the NBA level against quicker and stronger guards.

*Though he has great size and length for a guard, Walker-Alexander is not considered a premier athlete for the position. He does not have elite quickness or the ability to play consistently above the rim. Because of that, some wonder how high his ceiling will be in the NBA. He may, however, have a high floor given his well-rounded game and basketball IQ.

*Walker-Alexander is from Canada. He has played for the national team as a junior and is part of a new wave of players from the country in the NBA. Walker-Alexander was a high school teammate of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, who just enjoyed a strong rookie season with the L.A. Clippers.

Fit with Wizards: The Wizards need help at just about every position, so even a guard can't be ruled out. Walker-Alexander would give them more backcourt depth and that is needed long-term, even after John Wall returns from injury.

If Walker-Alexander can develop into an above average perimeter defender, he could be very useful for the Wizards. They need to improve at stopping dribble penetration and three-point shooters. They could use more players with Walker-Alexander's length and ability to force turnovers. Also, he would help spread the floor with his shooting.

All that said, the Wizards could probably find a player with more upside than Walker-Alexander with the ninth overall pick. He would be more in line with their decision to take Troy Brown Jr. last June.

Like Brown, he is smart and a safe bet to carve out a long NBA career. But could Walker-Alexander become an elite player at his position? He seems like a better option if they trade down into the teens and acquire more picks.

Best highlight video:

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