|Garnett has 22 points, 20 rebounds in Big Three's debut; James bounces back with 45|
|Written by Admin|
|Friday, 02 November 2007 22:27|
Kevin Garnett had 22 points, 20 rebounds and five assists in a dazzling debut with Boston, and the Celtics rolled to a 103-83 victory over the Washington Wizards on Friday night.
Paul Pierce scored 28 points and Ray Allen had 17 in the first game since Garnett and Allen came to Boston over the summer, forming a team capable of going from the bottom of the Eastern Conference right to the top - where the Celtics used to reside.
Garnett was introduced to a standing ovation and left to cheers that echoed from the rafters where the team's 16 championship banners were hanging.
``Tonight was rocking, man,'' Garnett said.
Cleveland heard some boos Wednesday night in its home opener, but LeBron James wouldn't let that happen again. He rebounded from a 10-point outing in that loss to Dallas by scoring 45 points, carrying the Cavaliers to a 110-106 victory over the New York Knicks.
``He was as good as that other No. 23 I played against,'' Knicks coach Isiah Thomas said, referring to Michael Jordan. ``He was exceptional. He wasn't going to let his team lose.''
In other games, it was: Detroit 116, Orlando 92; Indiana 87, Miami 85; Charlotte 102, Milwaukee 99; Atlanta 101, Dallas 94; Toronto 106, New Jersey 69; Denver 99, Minnesota 91; New Orleans 113, Portland 93; Philadelphia 96, Chicago 85; San Antonio 96, Sacramento 80; the Los Angeles Lakers 119, Phoenix 98; and the Los Angeles Clippers 120, Golden State 114.
James was scoreless in the first half and finished 2-for-11 from the field Wednesday. He was much more aggressive Friday, opening things up for his teammates. Daniel Gibson made six 3-pointers and scored 24 points.
``I don't think I played with the energy I know I can play with on Wednesday, and I came out with a lot of energy tonight,'' James said. ``I think my guys fed off of me.''
Like James, Pierce was the only star on his team for years. That all changed when Boston landed Garnett and Allen in trades over the summer, giving Pierce the potential for the best season of his 10-year career.
``I'm at a place right now in my career, I couldn't ask for anything better.'' Pierce said.
Pierce spoke to the crowd before the game when a brief ceremony was held naming the court for Red Auerbach, the Celtics patriarch who died four days before Boston's opener last year. He then sparked the run that helped break open the game in the second quarter.
Gilbert Arenas scored 21 points and Caron Butler had 18 for the Wizards. Arenas was just 5-for-20 from the field and the Wizards missed all 16 of their 3-point shots, an NBA record for most attempts without making one.
``They have a great squad,'' Arenas said. ``You can see that they have what it takes.''
Lakers 119, Suns 98
At Phoenix, Vladimir Radmanovic made all four of his 3-pointers and scored 19 points, and Kobe Bryant added 16 points and 11 rebounds, leading Los Angeles to a stunning rout of the listless Suns.
Phoenix, the three-time defending Pacific Division champions, fell behind by 17 in the second quarter, 29 in the third and an embarrassing 33 in the fourth, giving up a seemingly endless series of layups, dunks and open jumpers.
Raptors 106, Nets 69
Andrea Bargnani scored 21 points to lead Toronto in the first meeting between the teams since the Nets ousted the Raptors in the opening round of last season's playoffs.
The Raptors set a team record for margin of victory in a road game. Their previous best was 33 at San Antonio on Feb. 19, 1997.
Richard Jefferson was the one bright spot for the Nets with 27 points. Vince Carter scored only seven points against his former team, while Jason Kidd had two.
Hawks 101, Mavericks 94
Joe Johnson scored 28 points and Atlanta opened the season with a home win for the first time since the 1998-99 season, the last time the Hawks appeared in the playoffs.
Dirk Nowitzki 28 points for Dallas, while Jason Terry had 20 and Jose Barea added 14.
Pistons 116, Magic 92
At Orlando, Fla., Chauncey Billups had 18 points and seven assists to lead Detroit to a second straight victory without Richard Hamilton.
Rashard Lewis scored 21 points for Orlando, Dwight Howard had 16 points and 13 rebounds, and Hedo Turkoglu added 17 points. Keith Bogans had 14 points on perfect 4-for-4 shooting from 3-point range.
Pacers 87, Heat 85
At Indianapolis, Danny Granger was 10-for-13 from the field and had 25 points and nine rebounds to help Indiana improve to 2-0 under new coach Jim O'Brien.
Rookie Daequan Cook, who didn't play in the season-opening loss to Detroit, led Miami with 17 points, while Ricky Davis added 13 points and a career-high 14 rebounds. Shaquille O'Neal had eight points and seven rebounds in 28 minutes.
Bobcats 102, Bucks 99
Raymond Felton had 26 points and 12 assists, and hit two free throws with 0.1 seconds left to preserve Charlotte's home win over Milwaukee.
Michael Redd scored 17 of his 21 points in the first half, and Mo Williams added 20 for the Bucks in their second straight loss. China's Yi Jianlian, the No. 6 pick in the draft, was held to two points and four rebounds and didn't play in the fourth quarter.
Spurs 96, Kings 80
At San Antonio, Tim Duncan and Tony Parker scored 15 points apiece, and the Spurs improved to 3-0 for the first time since the 2000-01 season, when they finished with the best record in the league.
Kevin Martin scored 22 points for the winless Kings, who never led.
Nuggets 99, Timberwolves 91
At Minneapolis, Carmelo Anthony scored 33 points to rally Denver past Minnesota, opening a season for the first time in 13 years without Kevin Garnett.
Allen Iverson shot just 4-for-14 from the field, but still managed 24 points thanks to his 15-for-16 performance at the line. Marcus Camby added 14 points, 21 rebounds and six blocks for Denver.
76ers 96, Bulls 85
Andre Miller scored 25 points, Andre Iguodala added 11 of his 22 in the fourth quarter, and Philadelphia hung on to ruin Chicago's home opener.
Ben Gordon led Chicago with 25 points. Second-year pro Tyrus Thomas had one of his best games, finishing with 21 points and a career-high 12 rebounds while blocking three shots.
Hornets 113, Trail Blazers 93
At New Orleans, Chris Paul scored 19 points and Peja Stojakovic added 18 for the sharp-shooting Hornets, who made 11 3-pointers.
Clippers 120, Warriors 114
At Los Angeles, Chris Kaman had 26 points and 18 rebounds, and Cuttino Mobley hit a pair of fadeaway jumpers in the final 76 seconds in the Clippers' opener.
Kelenna Azibuike had 33 points and eight rebounds, and Baron Davis had 22 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds for the Warriors, who lost their second in a row.