LOS ANGELES (AP) Dirk Nowitzki scored 25 points and the Dallas Mavericks held off a late rally by the winless Los Angeles Lakers for a 103-93 victory on Sunday night.
This is the first time in franchise history the Lakers have started 0-3 in consecutive seasons. They lost their first five games last season and ended up with their worst record ever (21-61).
The Mavericks opened the game with a 15-0 blitz that included two 3-pointers each by Wesley Matthews and Nowitzki – the latter has made more 3-point shots than any 7-footer in league history (1,580). The Lakers missed their first five shots before Julius Randle’s dunk with 7:13 left in the first quarter.
Randle posted his second consecutive double-double with 22 points and 15 rebounds.
Kobe Bryant had 15 points on 3-of-15 shooting.
THUNDER 117, NUGGETS 93
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) – Kevin Durant scored 25 points to help Oklahoma City beat Denver.
Durant made 8 of 11 field goals and all six of his free throws to help new coach Billy Donovan remain unbeaten in the NBA.
Serge Ibaka had 18 points, seven rebounds and five blocks and Russell Westbrook had 15 points, nine rebounds and eight assists for the Thunder, who have won their first three games for the first time since the 2011-12 season.
The Thunder shot 52 percent from the field, and all five Oklahoma City starters rested for the entire fourth quarter.
Danilo Gallinari and Will Barton each scored 15 points and Jameer Nelson added 13 points and seven assists for the Nuggets, who shot just 38 percent.
HEAT 109, ROCKETS 89
MIAMI (AP) – Hassan Whiteside had 25 points and 15 rebounds, Chris Bosh scored all 10 of his points in the fourth quarter and Miami erased a 21-point second-half deficit to beat Houston.
Dwyane Wade scored 20 points and Luol Deng added 14 for Miami, which outscored Houston 65-24 in the final 23 minutes. It was Miami’s largest comeback win since a 27-point rally against Cleveland in March 2013.
Marcus Thornton scored 21 points for Houston, and James Harden had 16. The Rockets have dropped their first three games of the season – all by exactly 20 points each.
Dwight Howard sat out to rest on the first night of a back-to-back. He’s expected to play when the Rockets host Oklahoma City on Monday night.
BULLS 92, MAGIC 87
CHICAGO (AP) – Pau Gasol and Nikola Mirotic each scored 16 points and Chicago withstood a late surge from Orlando.
Chicago led by 14 at halftime and 12 after three quarters, and the Bulls appeared to be headed for an easy win. But Orlando cut the lead to two with just under 3 minutes left before Chicago’s Jimmy Butler jumped to intercept a pass and squelch the comeback bid.
Then, under the Bulls’ basket after a Magic rebound, Butler came up with another takeaway to again foil Orlando.
It was the third win in four games for Chicago. The Magic dropped to 0-3.
Derrick Rose is still playing with a face mask as he recovers from a broken orbital bone suffered before the start of the season. He was held scoreless in the second and third quarters and finished with just six points.
HAWKS 94, HORNETS 92
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) – Kent Bazemore scored 20 points, Al Horford added 16 points and 12 rebounds and Atlanta held on to beat Charlotte for the second time in three days.
The Hornets had a chance to tie the game at the buzzer, but Kemba Walker’s 17-footer from the left wing hit the back rim and bounced out. Walker also missed a 3-pointer in the final seconds of Charlotte’s 97-94 loss to Atlanta on Friday night.
Jeff Teague had 18 points and Paul Millsap added 16 points, including a key 3-pointer to give Atlanta the lead for good with less than a minute to play.
Walker finished with 17 points and Nicolas Batum added 16 points and eight assists for winless Charlotte. Al Jefferson contributed 10 points and 10 rebounds for the Hornets.
SPURS 95, CELTICS 87
BOSTON (AP) – LaMarcus Aldridge had 24 points and 14 rebounds, Kawhi Leonard added 19 points and San Antonio beat Boston.
Manu Ginobili scored 13 points and Boris Diaw had 10 for the Spurs
Avery Bradley led Boston with 18 points and Marcus Smart had 17. Isaiah Thomas scored 15, but shot only 4 of 18 from the floor. Jared Sullinger had 10 points and eight rebounds.
San Antonio opened a double-digit lead early in the game and held off Boston’s charges the rest of the way.
The Celtics closed a 14-point, fourth-quarter deficit to four points three times in the final 4 minutes, the last on Smart’s 3-pointer from the right corner that made it 86-82 with 2:45 to play. But then Leonard nailed a jumper and Tony Parker had a fast-break layup with 2:02 to go.
RAPTORS 106, BUCKS 87
TORONTO (AP) – Dwane Casey got his franchise-record 157th win as coach of Toronto with a victory over Milwaukee.
The milestone came in his 315th game with the Raptors, besting the previous record held by current Minnesota Timberwolves coach Sam Mitchell.
Jonas Valanciunas had 19 points and eight rebounds, and DeMar DeRozan and Kyle Lowry had 15 points each.
The victory boosted Toronto’s record to 3-0, just the third time in team history that it has been perfect through the season’s opening three games, and the first time since 2008-09.
The Bucks dropped to 0-3 despite a game-high 20 points from Giannis Antetokounmpo. It’s the first time the team has started a season with three consecutive losses since 1976-77, when it dropped five straight. Milwaukee previously had the longest streak in NBA history without starting 0-3.