Dallas Mavericks fans pregame Oklahoma City Thunder against Dallas Mavericks at Chesapeake Energy Arena
Spell it out
These fans' support of Dirk Nowitzki is clear as they pose before the Dallas Mavericks' game Thursday night against the Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City. The Thunder beat Nowitzki's Mavs 104-102 on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer.
Kevin Durant and the Thunder fans react after his game-winning 3-pointer against the Mavericks on Thursday. NBAE/Getty ImagesLayne Murdoch
Dallas Mavericks shooting guard Vince Carter (third from left) is restrained by teammates during an altercation in the game against the Oklahoma City Thunder at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Jimmer, meet the MVP
Chicago Bulls point guard Derrick Rose and Sacramento Kings rookie guard Jimmer Fredette take a break during Thursday's game. Rose led the Bulls to a 108-98 victory with 19 points, while Fredette had 14 points off the bench.
Bulls head coach Tom Thibodeau reacts after referee Gary Zielinski called an offensive foul on center Joakim Noah during the second quarter against the Kings on Thursday at Sacramento.
Make a move
Sacramento Kings center DeMarcus Cousins drives to the basket past Chicago Bulls defender Joakim Noah during the second half Thursday. Cousins scored 15 points, but he made just 4 of 16 field-goal attempts.
Star vs. star
Kobe Bryant takes on the Knicks' Carmelo Anthony during the Lakers' victory Thursday night in Los Angeles. Bryant scored 28 points to lead LA, while 'Melo had 27 for New York. NBAE/Getty ImagesAndrew D. Bernstein
Los Angeles Lakers coach Mike Brown and forward Pau Gasol work it out on the sideline during Thursday's game against the Knicks.
Power on display
Dwight Howard of the Magic dunks against the Nets during Orlando's 94-78 victory Thursday night. Howard scored 16 points and pulled down 24 rebounds. NBAE/Getty ImagesFernando Medina
Line it up
New Jersey Nets guard Deron Williams takes a jump shot during Thursday's game against the Orlando Magic. His aim was off, as he shot just 2-for-12 and scored 10 points.
To the hoop
The Nuggets' Danilo Gallinari (8) goes to the basket past the Trail Blazers' Marcus Camby (23) and Gerald Wallace during the first half of Portland's 111-102 victory Thursday.
Carmelo Anthony endures a rough game, finishing 3 of 13 from the field in the Knicks' 92-78 loss to the Warriors on Wednesday. Anthony went 0 of 4 from beyond the 3-point arc as New York shot just 40 percent from the floor and 19 percent from 3-point land.
Still in control
Kevin Durant keeps the Thunder undefeated thanks to another brilliant performance by the defending scoring champ. Durant scored a game-high 32 on 10-of-17 shooting from the field, helping Oklahoma City top the Grizzlies 98-95 despite shooting only 38 percent.
Hammer home the point
Blake Griffin slams home two of his 28 points, but the newly dubbed 'Lob City' Clippers suffer a 115-90 drubbing to the veteran-laded Spurs. San Antonio outscored Los Angeles 38-17 in the third quarter, sealing the Clippers' first loss of the season.
LeBron James cruises to the rim during his 35-point, six-rebound, seven-assist outing during the Heat's 96-95 win over the Bobcats. Miami outscored Charlotte 51-35 in the second half to remain perfect this season.
In Monday's season opener, Kris Humphries had a double-double and finished as the NBA's leader in rebounding. In Tuesday's home opener, however, the man most famous for his brief marriage to Kim Kardashian was held to 11 points and six rebounds in the Nets' 106-70 loss to Atlanta. NBAE/Getty ImagesJesse D. Garrabrant
Sweating (and screaming) it out
Milwaukee coach Scott Skiles watches his team go from a 12-point halftime lead Tuesday to a fourth quarter in which the Bucks were outscored 27-19 by Minnesota. But Milwaukee held on for the 98-95 win, despite Kevin Love's 31 points and 20 rebounds.
He has the will . . .
. . . and he usually finds a way. Minnesota's Kevin Love (with ball) had to deal with 7-footer Andrew Bogut much of the night Tuesday. But it did not keep the double-double machine from posting the NBA's first 20-rebound game of the season.
Feeling the Heat
Dwyane Wade gets plenty of quality time with Ray Allen on Tuesday night, but Miami improves to 2-0 with another impressive victory, 115-107 over the Celtics. Wade had 24 points and eight assists.
Dwyane Wade never has been afraid to go to the basket, even when Kevin Garnett is in the way. On this play, Flash drew the foul and went to the line for two of his 10 free-throw attempts (of which he made eight) in Tuesday's game.
He may be the Nets' floor general, but on Tuesday night, Deron Williams couldn't do much to generate points. He dished out only one assist and scored 10 points as New Jersey lost by 36 to Atlanta. NBAE/Getty ImagesJesse D. Garrabrant
LeBron James shoots over Kevin Garnett in Tuesday's big Eastern Conference battle in Miami. LBJ scored a team-high 26 and the Heat improved to 2-0. Getty ImagesMike Ehrmann
Another long night in Big D
Championship hangover? Too much eggnog? A supreme team hell-bent on revenge? Any of these may have explained the Mavs' flop on Christmas in their first game as defending NBA champions. But Monday? Hard to explain another loss at home, this time 115-93 to Denver, other than to say the road to a repeat will not be easy for Dallas.
It's no better in LA
Mike Brown, now 0-2 as the Lakers coach, won't be laughing for long should performances like Monday night continue. The Lakers, in the middle of a back-to-back-to-back run to open the season and coming off Christmas' last-minute meltdown against Chicago, lost at Sacramento for the first time in more than three years, 100-91. You think Kobe is laughing?
On the other side of things
Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook, left, keeps Minnesota's JJ Barea at bay in the first half Monday. The Thunder won 104-100 to spoil the debut of Ricky Rubio and improve to 2-0 on the season. Perhaps this really is the year we get to see Kevin Durant & Co. in the NBA Finals.
The learning begins
The season opener also means a first glimpse at the league's rookies. So let's start with top pick Kyrie Irving, the point guard out of Duke who Cleveland hopes will lead them out of the post-LeBron abyss. Umm, that plan will have to hold. In Game 1, Irving struggled with only six points in 26 minutes in a 104-96 loss at home to Toronto. On the bright side, he did have seven assists with only one turnover.
The longest-anticipated debut was that of Ricky Rubio, rookie point guard for the Minnesota Timberwolves by way of Spain. When he wasn't hanging out with fans, the gifted ball handler was helping the upstart Wolves nearly knock off the mighty Thunder, falling at home, 104-100. Rubio came off the bench to score six points, hand out six assists and even grab five rebounds.
OK, he may not carry the name recognition of Tebow, but was anybody in college hoops more popular than Jimmer Fredette, then of BYU, last season? On Monday, the Jimmer came off the Kings bench to quite the ovation, double-dribbled on his first possession, then shot the ball in front of Kobe Bryant. He finished with six points in 25 minutes in the 100-91 victory.
Getting his pro legs
In March, Kemba Walker was the NCAA Tournament man of the hour, leading UConn to the national championship. On Monday, he was an NBA rookie, learning that even if you use your legs on defense, pros like Milwaukee's Beno Udrih (left) will still find a passing lane. Walker finished with a solid night off the bench (13 points, seven rebounds, three assists in 21 minutes) as the Charlotte Bobcats won 96-95 in his debut.
New man in New Orleans
Eric Gordon, the key component to the mega-trade that sent Chris Paul from New Orleans to the Los Angeles Clippers, scores in his Hornets debut. He kept it going to the final buzzer on Monday, sinking a 20-footer from the top of the key with 4.2 seconds to play to give him 20 points and his team a season-opening road victory. Chris Kaman, the other big name to come from the Clippers, had 10 points and five rebounds off the bench.
That's a lovely tattoo
Perhaps Cleveland's Daniel Gibson should spend more time watching the ball instead of Toronto's James Johnson's body art. Johnson finished with five points and five assists off the bench as the Raptors opened the season with a 104-96 win on the road.
This isn't football
Cleveland's Anderson Varejao tries to hang onto the ball while Toronto's DeMar DeRozan (10) and Jose Calderon apply defensive pressure. The Raptors used a 10-point advantage in the second quarter on their way to a 104-96 victory on the road.
Eyes on the ball . . .
. . . that you no longer have. Milwaukee's Brandon Jennings (left) knocks the ball from Charlotte's D.J. Augustin during Monday's first half. Jennings had a game-high 22 points, but Augustin added eight assists to 19 points to give the Bobcats a one-point win, 96-95.
Indiana's Danny Granger and Detroit's Jason Maxiell battle for a rebound Monday. Granger got the better of the matchup with 16 points (to Maxiell's zero) and the Pacers won 91-79.
Big men battle
Philadelphia forward Thaddeus Young (left) and Portland center Marcus Camby fight for a loose ball in the second quarter in Portland. Camby had 13 rebounds and the Blazers held off the 76ers 107-103.
Houston point guard Kyle Lowry gets around Orlando Magic center Dwight Howard for a layup in the second quarter Monday at Orlando. But Howard and (for now) his Magic won 104-95 thanks in part to his 21 points and seven rebounds.
Little big man
Pesky Manu Giobili swats the ball away from Memphis forward Zach Randolph in Monday's second half. The San Antonio Spurs, playing what some consider to be their final season as a championship contender in their current form, got off to a great start with a 95-82 win at home. Ginobili had a game-high 24 points.
Pain in the back-to-back
On Christmas, Joakim Noah (pictured in red) and his Chicago Bulls edged the Lakers on national TV. On Monday, the Bulls fell to Stephen Curry's Golden State Warriors in Oakland, Calif., 99-91. Noah did grab 10 boards, but Curry had 21 points, one of three Warriors in the 20s.
Just out of reach ...
... a triple-double was for New Jersey guard Deron Williams (left) on Monday. He finished with 23 points, nine assists and eight rebounds in his team's 90-84 win at Washington. Wizards guard Jordan Crawford (right) had 15 points in the loss.