AP Photo/Nell Redmond Bobcats forward Emeka Okafor pulls down a rebound against Magic forward Dwight Howard at the Charlotte Coliseum in Charlotte, N.C., on Saturday.
AP Photo/Nell Redmond
CHARLOTTE, N.C. Gerald Wallace slid face-first off the court after a hard foul, popped back up and looked at the scoreboard. He wasn't seeing things the Charlotte Bobcats really were on their way to the first win in franchise history.
The expansion Bobcats wrestled for rebounds, scrambled after loose balls and outhustled the Orlando Magic en route to a 111-100 victory on Saturday night.
Primoz Brezec, quickly emerging as Charlotte's star player, had 20 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Bobcats. Wallace added 18 points and 10 rebounds, Steve Smith had 14 points, and Jason Hart had 14 points and 11 assists.
Cuttino Mobley led the Magic with 23 points. Grant Hill, playing in his first back-to-back games since Dec. 15-16, 2002, scored 16 for the Magic. Hedo Turkoglu also had 16.
Celtics 107, Knicks 73
NEW YORK Paul Pierce scored 28 points, Ricky Davis added 20, and Boston shot 56 percent to win for the first time this season after opening with two losses at home.
The Celtics began pulling away late in the first quarter, then closed the first half with a 13-0 run. Boston went ahead by as many as 33 before the third quarter ended, and the only suspense in the fourth quarter revolved around how many of the booing fans would stick around until the end.
Pierce shot 10-for-18 from the field and 6-for-6 from the line with 10 rebounds and eight assists. Gary Payton added nine points, leaving him 15 shy of becoming the 29th player in NBA history to score 20,000.
Stephon Marbury scored 12 and Jamal Crawford had 11. Reserve forward Michael Sweetney led New York with 18 points.
Heat 118, Wizards 106
WASHINGTON Dwyane Wade had career highs with 37 points and 12 assists to again overshadow Shaquille O'Neal, and Miami improved to 3-0 for the second time in franchise history.
Wade made 11 of 16 field goals, 14 of 16 free throws and outshone the Wizards trio of Gilbert Arenas, Antawn Jamison and Larry Hughes, who combined for 77 points and rallied Washington from a 10-point third-quarter deficit to tie the game late.
O'Neal, hampered by foul trouble and a strained hamstring, scored 13 points in 27 minutes while facing a team that started 6-foot-8 Michael Ruffin at center.
Wade has been the star of all three Heat victories, totaling 86 points and 23 assists as Miami is 3-0 for the first time since the 1995-96 season.
Arenas had 27 points, Hughes scored 26, and Jamison had 24 points and 13 rebounds.
Pistons 99, 76ers 91
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. Chauncey Billups had 20 points and 10 assists, and Richard Hamilton added 17 points, leading Detroit over Philadelphia.
Rasheed Wallace scored 16 points, and Ben Wallace had 11 points and 16 rebounds for the Pistons, who were without coach Larry Brown for a second straight game. Brown is hospitalized after having hip surgery on Wednesday.
Allen Iverson scored 31 points for the Sixers but was limited to just eight points in the second half.
Billups scored 18 first-half points.
Timberwolves 99, Hornets 92
MINNEAPOLIS Latrell Sprewell ended a quiet night with a flurry, scoring seven points over a two-minute span down the stretch to spark Minnesota over New Orleans.
Sprewell, whose contract complaints have been the main focus of this first week of the Timberwolves' season, finished with 14 points and five rebounds.
Kevin Garnett had eight of his 29 points in a 70-second span with less than two minutes remaining. He also grabbed 15 rebounds.
Baron Davis had 21 points and 12 assists, and David Wesley scored 21 points on 7-for-18 shooting for the winless Hornets.
Pacers 100, Bulls 90
INDIANAPOLIS With five players sitting out and both All Stars on the bench with foul trouble, a group of role players helped Indiana pull away for a victory over Chicago.
Fred Jones hit three 3-pointers during the 19-6 spurt in the third quarter, and Stephen Jackson led the way with 24 points and four steals to help the banged-up Pacers improve to 3-0.
Indiana was up 62-57 with just over six minutes to play when Ron Artest and Jermaine O'Neal picked up their fourth fouls. That's when a group including Jackson, Jones, Jamaal Tinsley, Austin Croshere and David Harrison extended Indiana's lead.
The Bulls, coming off a double-overtime loss to New Jersey on Friday, committed 24 turnovers and made just 14 of 42 shots in the second half.
Bulls rookie Luol Deng had 25 points on 10-of-15 shooting and five rebounds.
Suns 112, Nets 80
EAST RUTHERFORD, N.J. Steve Nash had 17 points and eight assists, and Phoenix rode 57.4-percent shooting to its third straight victory.
The 3-0 start is the best for the Suns since they went 5-0 to begin the 1984-85 season.
Amare Stoudemire added 22 points, Joe Johnson had 18 and Shawn Marion 13 for Phoenix, which came into the game averaging an NBA-best 110 points.
Despite two early fouls, Richard Jefferson had 24 points to lead the Nets. Alonzo Mourning was the only other New Jersey player who looked as if he belonged on the floor. He added 12 points and seven rebounds.
Bucks 102, Cavaliers 88
MILWAUKEE Michael Redd scored 28 points and Keith Van Horn had 22 points and 14 rebounds for the Bucks in their home opener.
LeBron James scored 31 points for Cleveland, winless in three games this season. Jeff McInnis added 16 points and Drew Gooden had 12 for the Cavs.
Van Horn and Mo Williams pulled the Bucks back into the game when they sparked a 14-0 run at the third quarter and beginning of the fourth.
Van Horn hit two 3-pointers and a basket and Williams, who had 11 assists, added four points as the Bucks took an 82-70 lead with 10:11 left.
Mavericks 112, Grizzlies 88
DALLAS Dirk Nowitzki hit a nifty basket that turned into a three-point play in Dallas' game-turning surge and finished with 22 points.
There might be a lot of new pieces, but Nowitzki and Michael Finley remain the centerpieces for the Mavericks, who improved to 3-0 after overcoming an early 12-point deficit. Finley added 23 points, and Nowitzki also had 13 rebounds.
New center Erick Dampier had 13 points and 18 rebounds, while Jason Terry had 15 points and rookie Devin Harris added 14 for the Mavericks. All three of their wins have come against playoff teams from last season.
It was Don Nelson's 300th win in his eighth season as the Mavericks coach.
Pau Gasol led Memphis with 18 points.
Jazz 106, Nuggets 82
DENVER Carlos Boozer had 30 points and 17 rebounds, and Andrei Kirilenko added 16 points to help Utah stay unbeaten.
After opening the season with easy wins over the Los Angeles Lakers and Golden State, Utah put the Nuggets away early with good shooting and even better defense to open with three straight wins for the first time since going 5-0 in 2000-01.
The Nuggets stagnated on offense, rotated poorly on defense and were booed several times by the home fans after their second lackluster effort in three games.
Carmelo Anthony made just three of 20 shots, scored 7 points and started the second half on the bench. Earl Boykins had 17 points and Kenyon Martin 14 for Denver.
Rockets 104, Kings 101, OT
HOUSTON Charlie Ward made two 3-pointers in overtime, Yao Ming scored 33 points for the Rockets, who rallied late in their home opener.
Tracy McGrady added 23 points in his Houston debut.
Yao scored 16 points after the third quarter, making nearly all the key shots down the stretch to help the Rockets hold off Sacramento.
Mike Bibby led the Kings with 31 points and seven assists, but it wasn't enough to keep them from going winless during their season-opening, three-game swing through Texas. Peja Stojakovic added 23 points, and Chris Webber 20.
Clippers 94, Warriors 86
OAKLAND, Calif. Corey Maggette had 26 points and six assists, and Bobby Simmons added 22 points to lead the Los Angeles Clippers past Golden State.
Elton Brand had 13 points, seven rebounds and four assists for the Clippers, who led by as many as 23 on the way to their 11th victory in 14 meetings between the teams in Oakland.
Maggette scored 13 points in the opening period.
Speedy Claxton had 18 points and nine assists before fouling out, Troy Murphy had 17 points before getting his sixth foul, and Jason Richardson added 15 points and six rebounds for Golden State (0-3).
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