Anthony Davis had 24 points and 11 rebounds to lead the New Orleans Hornets to a 96-89 victory over the Miami Heat in the teams' preseason finale on Friday night, a game where LeBron James and Austin Rivers left after scary falls in the third quarter.
James appeared to escape relatively unscathed, after getting an inadvertent foot in the face from Hornets' center Robin Lopez as they jostled for a rebound.
But Rivers' issue looked far more serious, with him spraining his right ankle for the second time in four days. The No. 10 overall pick out of Duke in this year's draft did not return after seeming to twist his ankle backward. He was tended to for a couple minutes, then walked to the Hornets' locker room gingerly but without assistance.
Chris Bosh led Miami with 21 points, James scored 19 and Dwyane Wade finished with 15 for the Heat, who shot only 38 percent and were outrebounded 45-39.
Greivis Vasquez scored 18 points, Ryan Anderson added 17, Al-Farouq Aminu finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds, and Lopez scored 11 for the Hornets.
Both teams finished the preseason with 4-4 records.
Miami opens defense of its NBA title at home on Tuesday night against the Boston Celtics - the team the Heat needed seven games to oust in a classic Eastern Conference finals last spring. The Hornets open Wednesday, playing host to the San Antonio Spurs.
It was a strange, sloppy game in many ways, at least for the opening portion. The Heat missed 12 of their first 16 shots, many at the rim. James looked like he twisted an ankle in the opening minutes, limping for a few moments after tightening the laces on his shoe but staying in the game. He missed two dunks, and Wade missed one after an alley-oop lob from the reigning league MVP.
It was also entertaining, in the sense that neither team led by more than six points for the first 47-plus minutes - not until Anderson's 3-pointer with 45 seconds left gave the Hornets a 94-86 lead, all but sealing the outcome.
What was more paramount, at least from the New Orleans perspective, was the Rivers matter. He was cutting on the left wing and seemed to make contact with Miami guard Norris Cole, who also grimaced and fell over on the play. Rivers couldn't get up for several seconds, then initially could not put any weight on his ankle once he got to his feet.
He said earlier in the week that he intended to be ready for the season opener - and the Hornets even had him in the starting lineup Friday night, apparently satisfied that the ankle injury from an awkward landing on a layup attempt against Dallas on Monday night was sufficiently healed.
Earlier Friday, the Heat got their roster down to 16 players - one over the maximum to start the season - by waiving forwards Rodney Carney and Jarvis Varnado. Carney averaged 6.8 points in five preseason games. Varnado didn't appear in any preseason games because of injury issues.