|Written by Admin|
|Tuesday, 28 October 2008 19:40|
NBA finals MVP Paul Pierce scored 27 points as the defending champion Boston Celtics followed an emotional ring ceremony and banner raising with a 90-85 victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday night. LeBron James scored 22, but he missed a driving layup with 41 seconds left and two free throws in the last 11 seconds.
In their first meaningful game since beating the Los Angeles Lakers at the new Boston Garden to clinch their record 17th NBA title, the Celtics began the festivities with a 20-minute ceremony to honor the 2007-08 team that brought Pierce to tears.
Ray Allen scored eight points, and Kevin Garnett had just 11 with six rebounds in an off night for the Big Three.
Lakers 96, Trail Blazers 76
LOS ANGELES (AP) - Kobe Bryant had 23 points, 11 rebounds and five assists, leading the Lakers to a season-opening victory over the Trail Blazers and spoiling rookie Greg Oden's debut, which was cut short by another injury.
15 points in the first half as Los Angeles moved in front to stay. Trevor Ariz added 11 points and Andrew Bynum, back after sitting out the last part of last season with a knee injury, had eight points and three rebounds.
Oden's highly anticipated first NBA game didn't last long; the 20-year-old center left late in the first half with an injured right foot after taking four shots and going scoreless. He had five rebounds, one turnover, blocked one shot and picked up two fouls while playing 12:51.
X-rays were negative and the injury was diagnosed as a sprain. Oden will undergo an MRI on Wednesday.
Travis Outlaw led Portland with 18 points and Rudy Fernandez had 16.
Bulls 108, Bucks 95
CHICAGO (AP) - Luol Deng and Ben Gordon provided enough big shots to lead the Bulls to a victory over former coach Scott Skiles and Milwaukee. Deng scored 21 points and Gordon added 18 to offset Michael Redd's 30.
Derrick Rose, the No. 1 draft pick out of Memphis and a Chicago native, wowed fans with his quickness and strength but mixed in enough mistakes to remind them he is a work in progress. He finished with 11 points, nine assists and four turnovers.
Deng shot 8-for-13 after signing a six-year contract in the offseason, and Gordon scored 10 in the fourth quarter, making new coach Vinny Del Negro's debut a successful one.