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NBA scores: Clippers win and Lakers lose again on wacky Wednesday night

The Minnesota Timberwolves are set to start their season on Thursday night against the Sacramento Kings, but plenty of interesting things happened on Wednesday night while the Wolves waited.

Jaime Valdez-US PRESSWIRE

The Minnesota Timberwolves are set the start their 2012-13 NBA season on Thursday night against the Sacramento Kings, but in the meantime James Harden, Kobe Bryant and Chris Paul were happy to carry the load on Wednesday night to sustain NBA excitement. Those guys have been exciting for very different reasons, of course.

Bryant and the Lakers lost their second consecutive game on Wednesday; this time to an underwhelming Portland Trail Blazers team. Rookie point guard Damian Lillard played a great game and put up 23 points and 11 assists in his debut, while Kobe scored 30 points and Dwight Howard added 33 points in the loss. The biggest news from that game is that Steve Nash left the contest with an injury.

Blake Griffin and Zach Randolph got very chippy in a tight game last night, and in the end it was Chris Paul and the Clippers who emerged with the 101-92 win. James Harden dominated the early action, as he put up 37 points and 12 assists in his Houston Rockets debut, a 105-96 victory for the Rockets over the Detroit Pistons.

You can go here for a full scoreboard of Wednesday's action.

Photographs by Micah Taylor, clairity, and Fibonacci Blue used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.