DALLAS (AP) -Yao Ming and Ron Artest powered a 16-2 run late in the fourth quarter, carrying the Houston Rockets to a 112-102 victory over the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday night in the debut of new Mavs coach Rick Carlisle.
Yao finished with 30 points and 13 rebounds, and Artest scored 29 points. He had seven points in the decisive run, which began with the game tied at 92. Along the way, he also showed his allegiance to his new big man.
After Yao was fouled hard and caught a late elbow from Dallas' Josh Howard, Artest rushed between Yao and Howard. Officials quickly got involved, then decided to give Artest a technical foul. Yao then showed his allegiance by telling an official, ``He was trying to separate us.'' The new teammates walked away slapping hands.
The Mavericks got within eight in the final minutes, then Dirk Nowitzki blocked a layup by Houston's Aaron Brooks, bringing fans to their feet. But Nowitzki missed a turnaround 12-footer on the other end and the result was never in doubt again.
r - on Artest's technical. Howard had 28 points and 11 rebounds, and Jason Kidd finished with seven points, seven rebounds and 12 assists.
Hornets 108, Suns 95
PHOENIX - Chris Paul had 20 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds and the New Orleans Hornets held off a rally to spoil the home debut of new Suns coach Terry Porter.
The Hornets, who never trailed, improved to 2-0 on the season.
Peja Stojakovic added 20 points before leaving the game with a sprained right ankle in the first few seconds of the fourth quarter. New Orleans already was without starting center Tyson Chandler, who sprained his right ankle against the Warriors.
Morris Peterson added 21 and David West 18 for New Orleans. James Posey scored 13, including three 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, as the Hornets beat Phoenix for the fifth time in a row. They were 4-0 against the Suns last season.
Steve Nash had 24 points and nine assists, and Amare Stoudemire added 21 points and 12 rebounds for Phoenix. The Suns committed 24 turnovers, resulting in 21 New Orleans points, after only 10 in their victory at San Antonio the previous night.
Cavaliers 96, Bobcats 79
CLEVELAND (AP) - LeBron James scored 22 points, Daniel Gibson had 20 of his 25 in the first half and the Cavaliers won their home opener.
h the Bobcats and bounced back from a sloppy season-opening loss at Boston.
James just missed a triple-double, adding nine rebounds and nine assists in only 30 minutes.
Jason Richardson scored 24 and Gerald Wallace 13 for the Bobcats.
Gibson made three 3-pointers and eight of 10 shots in the first half, when the Cavs opened a 17-point lead.
END

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