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Wednesday, Dec. 28, 2011

Nets beat bickering Wizards


WASHINGTON — Maybe Washington Wizards fans were keeping up with the Kardashians.

News photo
At arm's length: San Antonio's Manu Ginobili (left) holds off Memphis' Sam Young during the Spurs' 95-82 win on Monday. AP

At least that might explain why they relentlessly booed Kris Humphries, the New Jersey Nets forward famous for his much-hyped — and short-lived — marriage to Kim Kardashian.

Jeered during pregame introductions and harangued every time he touched the ball Monday night, Humphries ignored all the attention and finished with 21 points and 16 rebounds, helping New Jersey erase a 21-point deficit and come all the way back to beat Washington 90-84 in the season opener for both teams.

"To me, it's motivation. People are yelling at you — you've got to perform, you've got to play hard. They might want to have a reason to say something. You want to try and give them that reason," Humphries said. "For me, it just makes it a little hostile environment — and it's kind of fun to play in that environment."

Nets coach Avery Johnson, for one, was at a loss to explain all the hostility Humphries heard.

"I'm trying to figure out: What did he do? I'm serious. It may be because I don't follow reality TV — I don't know all the ins and outs of it. It's pretty hilarious to me," Johnson said. "I don't even know if THEY know why they're booing."

Humphries even deflected a too-late pass by John Wall, a turnover that thwarted Washington's last good chance, trailing by only three points in the final minute.

Afterward, there was a bit of drama in the Wizards' locker room, where power forward Andray Blatche — who opened a pregame speech to the home crowd by saying, "This is your captain, Andray Blatche" — voiced displeasure with the play-calling and said he should get the ball down low more than out on the wings. He then repeated that complaint on Twitter.

All it took was one regular-season game for the in-fighting to start in Washington.

"Is it trust? Or is it, 'I think that I can make a play to get us going again,' and you try to do it individually? In our league, you can't do it, unless you're one of the elite players," Washington coach Flip Saunders said. "We don't have anyone that's at that elite status right now."

When a reporter relayed the gist of what Saunders said, Blatche responded: "He probably was talking about me, because for the simple fact that I said that I need the ball in the paint to be effective."

Kings 100, Lakers 91

In Sacramento, Marcus Thornton scored 12 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter and the Kings opened the season in grand fashion, beating Los Angeles at home for the first time in more than three years.

Warriors 99, Bulls 91

In Oakland, Stephen Curry had 21 points and 10 assists, Monta Ellis scored 26 points and Golden State beat Chicago, giving rookie coach Mark Jackson his first victory at any level.

Bobcats 96, Bucks 95

In Charlotte, D.J. Augustin scored 19 points, rookie Kemba Walker added 13, including two free throws with 9.9 seconds remaining, and the Bobcats erased a 14-point deficit.

Magic 104, Rockets 95

In Orlando, Hedo Turkoglu scored 23 points to lead five Magic players in double figures as the hosts earned their first win of the season.

Pacers 91, Pistons 79

In Indianapolis, Roy Hibbert had 16 points and 14 rebounds to help the Pacers defeat Detroit.

Raptors 104, Cavaliers 96

In Cleveland, rookie Kyrie Irving scored six points and hardly played like the No. 1 overall pick as Toronto spoiled the Cleveland guard's NBA debut with a season-opening win over the Cavaliers.

Thunder 104, T-Wolves 100

In Minneapolis, Kevin Durant scored 33 points to lead Oklahoma City to a victory over the Timberwolves.

Nuggets 115, Mavericks 93

In Dallas, Ty Lawson scored 20 of his 27 points in the first half and the Nuggets faced little resistance.

Hornets 85, Suns 84

In Phoenix, Eric Gordon made a long jumper from the top of the key with 4.2 seconds to play in his New Orleans debut.

Spurs 95, Grizzlies 82

In San Antonio, Manu Ginobili scored 24 points and the Spurs got some payback after their stunning playoff collapse last season.

Trail Blazers 107, 76ers 103

In Portland, LaMarcus Aldridge had 25 points and seven rebounds and the Trail Blazers opened their season with a win.

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