LOS ANGELES – LeBron James scored 24 points for the Lakers in his wild home debut, which included three players getting ejected for fighting late in the fourth quarter, as the Rockets won 124-115.
Houston’s Chris Paul and the Lakers’ Brandon Ingram and Rajon Rondo were tossed with 4:13 to play after a prolonged series of confrontations that put an ugly end on a celebratory night for Lakers fans eager to welcome James to the West Coast.
The game was close until Ingram was called for a foul while trying to defend an aggressive drive by James Harden, who finished with 36 points.
When the action cooled, Harden hit a key 3-pointer to propel the Rockets to their first win of the season.
James also had five rebounds and five assists. JaVale McGee had 16 points and six rebounds in his own Lakers home debut, while Rondo had 13 points and 10 assists before getting thrown out.
Paul had 28 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds before getting tossed.
Celtics 103, Knicks 101
NEW YORK – Jayson Tatum had 24 points and 14 rebounds, and Boston withstood his careless foul with 1.9 seconds left to beat the New York.
Tatum had just given the Celtics a three-point lead with two free throws with 7.9 seconds left and the Knicks called their final timeout. They had trouble getting the ball inbounded from the sideline, and Knicks guard Trey Burke had to race into the backcourt to retrieve it as the clocked ran down. He pulled up for a 3-pointer from well beyond the arc and Tatum jumped to contest it, fouling Burke for three free throws that could have tied it.
But he missed the first and the Knicks couldn’t grab the rebound when he intentionally missed the third.
Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 24 points for the Knicks, who lost rookie Kevin Knox to a sprained left ankle in the first quarter. Enes Kanter had 17 points and 15 rebounds before fouling out of their second two-point loss in two nights.
76ers 116, Magic 115
PHILADELPHIA – JJ Redick hit a 3-pointer with 17 seconds left to lift the 76ers over the Magic.
Redick had his best game since moving to Philadelphia’s bench at the start of the season, scoring 31 points on 10-of-20 shooting, including eight 3-pointers.
Aaron Gordon had a chance to tie it with 10 seconds remaining but missed his second free throw, and a desperation heave by Terrance Ross missed the net entirely.
Joel Embiid had 32 points and 10 rebounds for the 76ers, including 19 points by halftime. He did it with an outside game in the first half but was more of a force down low after intermission.
Raptors 117, Wizards 113
WASHINGTON – Taking over with Kawhi Leonard getting a night off, Kyle Lowry delivered 28 points and 12 assists Saturday night to help the Raptors improve to 3-0 with a victory over the Wizards.
The Raptors rested Leonard on the second half of a back-to-back and third game in four days to open the season.
Washington finished the game without ejected coach Scott Brooks. Bradley Beal scored 32 points, going 6 for 11 on 3s, and John Wall added 25 points and six assists for the Wizards, who are 0-2, with both games at home.
Beal broke Washington’s franchise record for most 3-pointers in a career, surpassing Gilbert Arenas’ previous mark of 868 by making his 869th with a little more than 4 1/2 minutes left in the game.
Pacers 132, Nets 112
INDIANAPOLIS – Victor Oladipo had 25 points and seven rebounds to lead the Pacers to a victory over the Nets.
Kyle O’Quinn came off the bench and scored 14 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter. Bojan Bogdanovic and Tyreke Evans each scored 15 points for the Pacers (2-1), who bounced back following a 118-101 loss at Milwaukee on Friday, the first night of a back-to-back.
Joe Harris and Caris LeVert each scored 19 points for the Nets (1-2), who have lost seven straight at Indiana.
Hornets 113, Heat 112
MIAMI – Kemba Walker scored 39 points, including the game-winning free throw with a half-second left, and the Hornets spoiled Dwyane Wade’s final home opener by topping the Heat.
The Hornets led by 26 points midway through the third quarter, then wasted it all before Walker saved them on a night when he eclipsed the career 10,000-point mark.
Wade scored to tie the game with 12.3 seconds left, setting up the final play. Walker drove on Miami’s Rodney McGruder, wound up on the ground and referee Scott Wall called a blocking foul – one the Heat argued to no avail. Walker made the first, missed the second and time expired before anyone could contain the rebound.
Wade led the Heat with 21 points. Goran Dragic scored 20, McGruder finished with 19 and Hassan Whiteside grabbed 15 rebounds for Miami.
Pistons 118, Bulls 116
CHICAGO – Blake Griffin had 33 points and 12 rebounds, Ish Smith scored all 15 of his points in the second half, including the game-winning basket, and the Pistons beat the Bulls.
Griffin was 12 for 23 from the field, including 5 of 7 on 3-pointers, as Detroit won its second straight to start the season.
Zach LaVine had 33 points on 12-of-22 shooting for Chicago, which dropped its second consecutive game. The Bulls played without starters Kris Dunn (excused absence) and Lauri Markkanen (sprained right elbow), and reserve Denzel Valentine (left ankle).
With the score tied at 116, Smith drove through the defense for a layup with 5.4 seconds left.
Mavericks 140, Timberwolves 136
DALLAS – Luka Doncic scored 26 points in the teenager’s home debut, Dennis Smith Jr. converted a tiebreaking three-point play with six seconds left and the Mavericks beat the Timberwolves in a wild offensive game.
DeAndre Jordan had 22 points, 10 rebounds and five blocks for the Mavericks in his first game in front of the fans who used to boo him unmercifully after the Texas native backed out on a pledge to join Dallas in free agency three years ago.
The Timberwolves didn’t seem to miss Jimmy Butler much after letting the disgruntled guard stay home to rest on the second night of their first back-to-back this season. Minnesota matched the most points Dallas has given up a first quarter while going up 46-37.
Karl-Anthony Towns scored 31 points, including an off-balance 3-pointer that helped get the Timberwolves close in the final minute.
Nuggets 119, Suns 91
DENVER – Nikola Jokic scored 35 points, posted a triple-double and didn’t miss a field goal in leading Denver.
Jokic, who had 10 assists and 10 rebounds, joined Wilt Chamberlain as the only players in NBA history to post a triple-double with 30 or more points without missing a field goal. Chamberlain did it twice, in 1966 and ‘67.
Jokic made all 11 of his shots from the floor and missed just one of 11 free throws.
Jamal Murray added 26 points for the Nuggets, who are off to their first 2-0 start since 2011-12 and will go for their first 3-0 start since 2009-10 when they host the two-time defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors on Sunday night.
Devin Booker’s 25 points led the Suns.
Trail Blazers 121, Spurs 108
PORTLAND, Ore. – Damian Lillard had 29 points and CJ McCollum added 24 as Portland opened the season with a pair of home wins.
Jusuf Nurkic added 12 points for the Blazers, who led the Spurs by as many as 20 points in the fourth quarter after a close first half.
DeMar DeRozan had 28 points and nine rebounds in a second strong performance after coming to the Spurs in an offseason trade.
Portland’s season has started on a somber note following the death of owner Paul Allen. The enigmatic co-founder of Microsoft died Monday in Seattle from complications of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. He was 65.
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