LOS ANGELES (AP) Ricky Rubio had a career-high 28 points, and the Minnesota Timberwolves rallied from a 16-point deficit in the second half to beat the Los Angeles Lakers 112-111 Wednesday night in their first game since Flip Saunders’ death.
Rubio also had 14 assists and Kevin Martin scored 23 points. The Timberwolves played with heavy hearts three days after they lost Saunders, the longtime coach and team president who battled Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Minnesota led 111-102 with 2:11 left, but the Lakers finished on a 9-1 run. Lou Williams hit a 3-pointer with 31 seconds left to trim Minnesota’s lead to one point. Martin missed a jumper before Williams missed a leaning 4-footer at the buzzer.
Kobe Bryant scored 24 points in the first game of his 20th season with the Lakers, breaking John Stockton’s NBA record for the most seasons with one team.
CAVALIERS 106, GRIZZLIES 76
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) – Kevin Love had 17 points and 13 rebounds, Richard Jefferson had 14 points and the Cavaliers ruined the Grizzlies’ season opener.
Cleveland capitalized on Memphis’ shooting woes, building a double-digit lead in the first quarter and extending the margin to 32 in the fourth. The Cavaliers lost their season opener to the Bulls 97-95 on Tuesday night.
LeBron James, Jared Cunningham and Matthew Dellavedova had 12 points each, with James 4 of 13 from the field. Jefferson was five of six, including all three 3-point tries, part of Cleveland shooting 45 percent from beyond the arc.
Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol led the Grizzlies with 12 points apiece.
THUNDER 112, SPURS 106
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – Russell Westbrook had 33 points and 10 assists to help Billy Donovan win his NBA coaching debut.
Kevin Durant scored 22 points in his first regular-season game since February. He made just 6 of 19 field goals, but hit two critical free throws with 11.5 seconds remaining to put the Thunder in control.
Enes Kanter had 15 points and 16 rebounds off the bench for the Thunder.
Kawhi Leonard scored a career-high 32 points and grabbed eight rebounds for the Spurs. LaMarcus Aldridge had 11 points and five rebounds in his debut with San Antonio after nine years with Portland.
HEAT 104, HORNETS 94
MIAMI (AP) – Chris Bosh scored 21 points in his first game since getting sick last February, Dwyane Wade added 20 and Miami beat Charlotte in the season opener for both teams.
Gerald Green scored 19 off the bench and Luol Deng finished with 13 for Miami, which used a 26-6 run in the second quarter to take control and beat the Hornets for the 14th consecutive time at home.
The Heat made 12 of 20 shots from 3-point range, including one from Deng with 38.8 seconds left to help seal the win.
Kemba Walker led the Hornets with 19 points, Jeremy Lin scored 17 and Marvin Williams had 10 points and 10 rebounds.
CLIPPERS 111, KINGS 104
SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – Blake Griffin scored 33 points and Paul Pierce endeared himself to his new teammates by putting the Clippers ahead for good with a late jumper.
Chris Paul had 18 points and 11 assists, J.J. Redick scored 15 and the Clippers blew a 15-point lead before surviving for the season-opening win.
DeMarcus Cousins had 32 points and 13 rebounds in the Kings’ final season opener at Sleep Train Arena before moving to their new downtown home next season.
BULLS 115, NETS 100
NEW YORK (AP) – Jimmy Butler scored 24 points, Nikola Mirotic had 18 and Chicago won for the second time in two nights to open the season.
Pau Gasol added 16 points and Derrick Rose 15 for the Bulls, who followed their season-opening victory over Cleveland by shooting 54 percent and leading by as many as 19. They built a big early lead, blew most of it with a defenseless second quarter and quickly pulled away again in the third.
Brook Lopez had 26 points and Andrea Bargnani had 17 for the Nets.
TRAIL BLAZERS 112, PELICANS 94
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) – CJ McCollum scored a career-high 37 points, including six 3-pointers, and Portland opened with a victory over depleted New Orleans.
It was Portland’s 15th straight home-opening victory, surpassing Boston’s record of 14 (1979-92).
Damian Lillard, Portland’s only remaining starter from last season, had 21 points and 11 assists. The Blazers are the third-youngest team in the NBA this season.
Anthony Davis had 25 points and 10 rebounds for the Pelicans, who lost 111-95 at Golden State in their opener on Tuesday night.
RAPTORS 106, PACERS 99
TORONTO (AP) – Jonas Valanciunas had 21 points and 15 rebounds, DeMar DeRozan scored 25 and Toronto beat Indiana on opening night for each team.
Kyle Lowry scored 23 points and DeMarre Carroll had 14 in his Raptors debut. Luis Scola, who didn’t score against his former team, was the only Raptors starter not to reach double figures.
Toronto has won its last five games against Indiana.
Paul George had 17 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists for the Pacers.
MAVERICKS 111, SUNS 95
PHOENIX (AP) – Raymond Felton scored 18 points to lead eight Dallas players in double figures.
Dirk Nowitzki, in his 17th NBA season, scored nine of his 11 points in the third quarter when the Mavericks built a 27-point lead. Phoenix never got closer than 14 again.
Deron Williams and Dwight Powell scored 12 apiece for the Mavs in the season opener.
Rookie Devin Booker scored 14 points on 6-of-7 shooting for the Suns, all in the second half. Brandon Knight had 15 points, Jon Leuer finished with 14 and Eric Bledsoe 13 for Phoenix.
NUGGETS 105, ROCKETS 85
HOUSTON (AP) – Danilo Gallinari scored 23 points and Denver never trailed in a victory over Houston in the season opener for both teams.
The Nuggets were up by nine points with about nine minutes remaining when they used a 6-0 run – with four points from Emmanuel Mudiay – to extend the lead to 85-72 and send fans streaming to the exits.
James Harden led Houston with 22 points, but made just 6 of 21 shots and was 2 of 12 from 3-point range.
PISTONS 92, JAZZ 87
AUBURN HILLS, Mich. (AP) – Reggie Jackson put Detroit ahead on a driving layup with 17 seconds left, and the Pistons held on for its second straight win to start the season.
It’s the first time the Pistons have been two games over .500 since they were 33-31 in March of 2009, according to STATS.
The Jazz, playing their season opener, scored seven consecutive points late in the fourth quarter and took an 87-86 lead on Gordon Hayward’s driving bank shot with 23 seconds to play. After a timeout, Jackson got to the basket quickly and scored to put Detroit ahead to stay.
Andre Drummond had 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Pistons.
KNICKS 122, BUCKS 97
MILWAUKEE (AP) – Derrick Williams scored 24 points, 20-year-old Kristaps Porzingis had 16 in his NBA debut, and New York beat Milwaukee in the season opener for each.
Williams got easy looks under the basket to help New York open a 12-point halftime lead. He started the fourth quarter with a dunk off an alley-oop pass from rookie Jerian Grant that made it 92-73.
Greg Monroe led the Bucks with 22 points and 14 rebounds.
CELTICS 112, 76ERS 95
BOSTON (AP) – Isaiah Thomas had 27 points and seven assists, and Boston beat Philadelphia in the season opener for each.
Led by Thomas, Boston’s reserves outscored Philadelphia’s 67-15. Amir Johnson added 15 points and seven rebounds, and Jared Sullinger had 12 points and seven boards.
Jahlil Okafor, the third overall pick in this year’s draft, led the 76ers with 26 points. Nerlens Noel had 14 points and 12 rebounds, and Isaiah Canaan scored 18 points.
WIZARDS 88, MAGIC 87
ORLANDO, Fla. (AP) – John Wall hit a floater with 12.7 seconds to play and Washington rallied to defeat Orlando in the season opener for both teams.
Bradley Beal led the Wizards with 24 points, followed by Wall with 22.
The Magic had a chance to win in the closing seconds, but Nik Vucevic’s jumper bounced off the rim as time expired.
Victor Oladipo led the Magic with 17 points and 11 rebounds. Harris added 15 points.