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Yao fails to wow in Rockets debut

Posted: Thursday, October 31, 2002

INDIANAPOLIS -- In a fitting start for soft-spoken Yao Ming, the 7-foot-6 Chinese rookie had a quiet first appearance.

Yao, the No. 1 overall pick in the June 26 draft, failed to score, had two rebounds, was whistled for three fouls and made little impact for the Houston Rockets in a 91-82 loss to the Indiana Pacers on Wednesday night.

Jermaine O'Neal scored 24 points and Ron Artest added 20 for Indiana, which overcame a career-high 39 points from Houston's Steve Francis.

Bulls 99, Celtics 96

BOSTON -- Trenton Hassell scored eight points in the final three minutes, including a pair of 3-pointers to twice give Chicago the lead as the Bulls opened the season with a victory over Boston.

Hassell scored 14 and Jalen Rose had 21 points and 12 assists for the Bulls, who won despite familiar poor free throw shooting from rookie Jay Williams down the stretch.

Raptors 74, Wizards 68

TORONTO -- Morris Peterson scored 20 points and Michael Jordan went scoreless in the second half -- and even missed a dunk -- as Toronto beat Washington.

Jordan scored just eight points in 25 minutes off the bench. After missing two free throws with 4:06 left, he missed a breakaway dunk as the ball clanged off the back rim. The crowd laughed at Jordan, who turns 40 in February, and the Wizards, down by 12, never recovered.

76ers 95, Bucks 93

PHILADELPHIA -- Allen Iverson had 28 points, including a go-ahead jumper in the final minute, to lead Philadelphia over Milwaukee.

Aaron McKie had 18 points, Keith Van Horn added 16 and Todd MacCulloch had 10 points and a career-high 14 rebounds for the Sixers, who are off to a 1-1 start. They opened last season with five straight losses and were eliminated in the first round of the playoffs after winning the Eastern Conference title in 2000-01.

Nets 105, Hawks 94

EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. -- Jason Kidd had 16 points, 12 assists and 8 rebounds as New Jersey opened the defense of its Eastern Conference championship by beating Atlanta.

Kidd also took over in the closing minutes after the Hawks cut a 17-point lead to 96-92, finding Kenyon Martin for a basket in the lane, hitting two baskets, including one after a steal.

Magic 100, Heat 86

MIAMI -- Orlando improved to 2-0 for the first time since 1993, taking advantage of Miami's sputtering offense and defensive breakdowns to spoil the Heat's season opener.

Tracy McGrady scored 24 points and Grant Hill added 17 for the Magic, who used the same 1-2 punch to beat Philadelphia in their opener Tuesday. The Magic shot 65 percent in the first half as they built a 54-45 lead. They finished at 55 percent, including 8-for-12 from 3-point range.

Pistons 86, Knicks 77

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- Richard Hamilton scored 22 points in his Pistons debut and Detroit's depth wore down injury-depleted New York.

Allan Houston scored 31 and helped New York lead by as many as 12 in the first half, but he didn't have much help with Latrell Sprewell out with a broken hand and with Antonio McDyess sidelined for the season with a knee injury.

Mavericks 119, Grizzlies 108

MEMPHIS, Tenn. -- Steve Nash scored 24 points as Dallas beat Memphis, the NBA's highest-scoring team picking up right where it left off last season.

The Mavericks, who averaged 105.2 points last season, continued their domination of the Grizzlies by winning their eighth straight in a series they lead 24-4.

Timberwolves 83, Nuggets 77

MINNEAPOLIS -- Newcomer Troy Hudson scored 23 points to lead banged-up Minnesota over Denver.

Kevin Garnett added 13 points and 12 rebounds for the Timberwolves, who held off a rally to escape with the victory.

Trail Blazers 102, Lakers 90

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Rasheed Wallace scored 28 points to lead Portland to a season-opening victory over the shorthanded Los Angeles Lakers.

Already playing without Shaquille O'Neal and Rick Fox, the Lakers were further hobbled when they lost Kobe Bryant for several minutes in the first half after a hard fall. He returned and led the Lakers with 25 points and 10 rebounds.

Hornets 100, Jazz 75

NEW ORLEANS -- A hobbled but energetic Baron Davis got the party started for the New Orleans Hornets in their new home.

Davis, who struggled with back spasms throughout the preseason, had 21 points and 10 assists as the Hornets beat New Orleans' old team, the Utah Jazz.

Cavaliers 98, Clippers 96

LOS ANGELES -- Zydrunas Ilgauskas hit a turnaround 10-foot jumper with 2.8 seconds remaining to help Cleveland spoil the Los Angeles Clippers' season opener.

Ricky Davis scored 25 points, Ilgauskas had 19 and Tyrone Hill added 17 points and 13 rebounds for Cleveland, which lost its opener 94-67 at Sacramento a night earlier.

Warriors 106, Spurs 98

OAKLAND, Calif. -- Antawn Jamison scored 36 points on 14-of-25 shooting and Jason Richardson added 22 as Golden State defeated San Antonio in Eric Musselman's head coaching debut.

Richardson also had eight rebounds and eight assists as the Warriors played energized, aggressive and determined in their opener. Both Jamison and Richardson had several monstrous dunks, as did Adonal Foyle, who came off the bench to score 14 points and grab seven rebounds.

SuperSonics 86, Suns 73

SEATTLE -- Brent Barry had eight of his 25 points in the fourth quarter and Gary Payton scored 20 as Seattle beat Phoenix.

Barry scored six points during a 12-2 run midway through the fourth, helping the Sonics build a 78-66 lead with 5:13 remaining when he scored a backdoor layup on a nice feed from Payton.

Barry shot 9-of-12, including 5-of-6 from 3-point range, while Desmond Mason scored 11 and Rashard Lewis had 10 for Seattle.

The Suns cut it to 79-73 with 1:56 to play on a basket by Penny Hardaway, but Payton hit a 3-pointer and Vladimir Radmanovic added the final four points as the Sonics put the game out of reach.

Shawn Marion had 21 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Suns, who lost their opener for the fourth straight year. Hardaway added 16, starting in place of Stephon Marbury, who was suspended for one game by the NBA after his summer drunken driving conviction.



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