Thursday , Nov , 04 , 2004 C.Y. Ellis

National Basketball Association Game Capsules

Toronto, ON (Sports Network) – Chris Bosh scored 20 points and grabbed seven
rebounds to lead Toronto to a 95-88 win over Houston at the Air Canada Centre.
Jalen Rose added 17 points and Vince Carter had 16 for the Raptors, who won
their season-opener for the third straight year. Rafer Alston, who was
signed as a free agent in the offseason, added 15 points, eight assists
and seven rebounds in the win. Sam Mitchell made his head coaching debut
with Toronto after the team dismissed Kevin O’Neill at the end of last
season. Mitchell, a former NBA player, spent the last two years as an
assistant coach with the Milwaukee Bucks. He also briefly served as the
top assistant under Bernie Bickerstaff with the expansion Charlotte Bobcats.
Tracy McGrady netted a game-high 21 points for the Rockets, who have dropped
their first two contests of the campaign. Yao Ming contributed 17 points and
nine boards in the loss.

Final Score: Orlando 93, Milwaukee 92

Orlando, FL (Sports Network) – Steve Francis made a game-winning layup in his
Orlando debut, leading the Magic to a 93-92 season-opening victory over
Milwaukee at TD Waterhouse Centre. Francis posted 26 points, nine rebounds and
seven assists in his first regular-season game with the team since the
offseason trade that sent Tracy McGrady to the Houston Rockets. Grant Hill
scored 20 points on 10-of-21 shooting for Orlando. The Magic have now won five
consecutive season-openers. Their first win last year was followed by a
disastrous 19-game losing streak, during which Doc Rivers was fired and
replaced by current head coach Johnny Davis. Michael Redd scored 19 points in
the loss, Milwaukee’s third-straight season-opening setback. Keith Van Horn
added 14 points and 10 boards, while Dan Gadzuric and Zaza Pachulia scored 11
apiece.

Final Score: Indiana 109, Cleveland 104 (2-OT)

Cleveland, OH (Sports Network) – Austin Croshere’s three-pointer with 54.6
seconds remaining in the second overtime period helped lift Indiana over
Cleveland, 109-104, in a wild season-opener at Gund Arena. Croshere finished
with 20 points and Ron Artest, who was questionable for the contest because
of a sore left knee, netted a team-high 31 points with nine rebounds for
Indiana, which has won two straight season-openers. Jamaal Tinsley collected
15 points and Jonathan Bender contributed 11 off the bench for the Pacers, who
shot 46 percent from the field in the win. Zydrunas Ilgauskas tied a career-
high with 35 points and added 18 boards for Cleveland, which fell to 8-28 all-
time in home openers. LeBron James, who forced overtime with a game-tying
three with one second remaining in regulation, netted 28.

Final Score: Philadelphia 98, Boston 95

Boston, MA (Sports Network) – Allen Iverson poured in 30 points and hit a key
three-pointer to cap an 11-0 run in the fourth quarter, as the Philadelphia
76ers rallied for a 98-95 victory over Boston in the season-opener for both
teams at the FleetCenter. Iverson also handed out six assists, while Marc
Jackson chipped in 15 points for Philadelphia, which outscored Boston 27-12 in
the final period. Jim O’Brien made his 76ers’ head coaching debut, while Doc
Rivers guided the Celtics for the first time since being named the 16th
coach in franchise history in early May. O’Brien resigned as coach of
Boston in late January after several conflicts with Danny Ainge, the
team’s director of basketball operations. Overall, O’Brien spent seven
seasons in the Celtics’ organization. Meanwhile, Rivers had spent four-plus
campaigns as the head coach of the Magic before being fired early in the
2003-04 season following a 1-10 start. Paul Pierce collected 35 points, 13
rebounds and eight assists for Boston. Ricky Davis scored 14 points and
Mark Blount contributed 12 points and eight boards in the loss.

Final Score: Miami 100, New Jersey 77

East Rutherford, NJ (Sports Network) – Dwyane Wade paced a balanced attack
with 21 points and Shaquille O’Neal added 16 in his Heat debut, leading Miami
to an easy 100-77 win over the New Jersey Nets at the Meadowlands. O’Neal
started despite a lingering hamstring injury that threatened to derail his
first appearance with his new team. He only needed to play 21 minutes, but he
was effective when on the floor. Rasual Butler also had 16 points for the
Heat, who opened the season with a road win for the first time in franchise
history. Wade also had six assists and five rebounds while three others
scored in double digits, including all five starters. Richard Jefferson led
the way for the Nets with 19 points and Zoran Planinic came off the bench
to score 11. Alonzo Mourning, who was forced into retirement early
last season because of his chronic kidney condition, had seven points in
14 minutes in his first game with a new kidney.

Final Score: Washington 103, Memphis 91

Memphis, TN (Sports Network) – Antawn Jamison poured in 34 points and grabbed
eight rebounds in his Wizards’ debut to lead Washington over Memphis, 103-91,
at FedExForum in the season-opener for both squads. Juan Dixon added 28
points for the Wizards, who got off to good start on the road after finishing
an NBA-worst 8-33 away from home last season. Washington won the game, despite
dressing a league minimum eight players. Bonzi Wells netted a team-high 19
points for the Grizzlies, who are coming off last season’s franchise-record
50 wins and first-ever postseason appearance. Memphis, which also received
17 points and nine boards from Pau Gasol, has dropped four straight season-
openers.

Final Score: Dallas 106, New Orleans 91

New Orleans, LA (Sports Network) – Dirk Nowitzki and Michael Finley each
scored 19 points while Jason Terry added 18 off the bench as Dallas routed
the Hornets, 106-91, at the New Orleans Arena. Jerry Stackhouse came off the
bench to contribute 19 for Dallas, which saw six players score in double
figures. Josh Howard added 11 and Erick Dampier collected 10 points for
the Mavericks, who have won two straight to start the season and spoiled the
head coaching debut of Byron Scott in convincing fashion. Baron Davis
poured in a game-high 25 points and handed out nine assists for New Orleans,
which fell to 8-9 all-time on opening night, including a 6-7 mark at home.
David Wesley and Jamaal Magloire each scored 11 in the setback. Scott was
hired in the offseason after Tim Floyd was fired following the season.

Final Score: Minnesota 99, New York 93

Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) – Kevin Garnett scored 28 points, grabbed 20
rebounds and dished out seven assists to lead the Minnesota Timberwolves over
the New York Knicks, 99-93, in the season-opener for both clubs at the Target
Center. Sam Cassell added 19 points and 11 assists for the Timberwolves, who
had the best regular-season record in a strong Western Conference a
season ago. Garnett, the reigning league MVP, was held to only eight
second-half points, but his defensive presence helped the Timberwolves
hold the Knicks without a basket from the field over the final eight
minutes on the way to victory. Stephon Marbury and Jamal Crawford combined to
score 49 points for the Knicks, who will return home for a three-game
homestand before embarking upon a tough four-game road trip. Marbury
finished with 27 points and 10 assists, while Crawford scored 22 points in
his debut with the club. The duo, however, scored only six points — all by
Marbury — in the fourth quarter.

Final Score: San Antonio 101, Sacramento 85

San Antonio, TX (Sports Network) – Tim Duncan poured in 30 points and grabbed
14 rebounds to lead the San Antonio Spurs past the Sacramento Kings, 101-85,
at SBC Center. It was the season-opener for San Antonio, while Sacramento
was coming off a nine-point loss to Dallas on Tuesday. Manu Ginobili
contributed 24 points and nine boards for the Spurs, while teammate Brent
Barry finished with 16 points in his San Antonio debut.Mike Bibby paced the
Kings with 23 points. Chris Webber collected 18 points and nine rebounds and
Peja Stojakovic added 15 points for Sacramento.

Final Score: Phoenix 112, Atlanta 82

Phoenix, AZ (Sports Network) – Amare Stoudemire scored 23 points and grabbed
eight rebounds to lead the Phoenix Suns to a 112-82 rout of the Atlanta Hawks
in the season-opener for both clubs at America West Arena. Joe Johnson added
17 points for the Suns, who made a number of moves in the offseason to
improve the club. Steve Nash, one of those additions, scored 12 and added
four assists in his second stint with the club. Quentin Richardson, a free
agent signing from the Clippers, scored only four points in 27 minutes of
action in his Phoenix debut. Shawn Marion tallied 10 points and nine boards
for Phoenix, which outscored the Hawks 36-12 in the second quarter to pull
away. The 30-point victory tied the Suns’ largest season-opening win in
franchise history. In 1989, the team opened with a 136-106 win at Golden
State. Newly-acquired Antoine Walker collected 21 points and 13 rebounds
for the revamped Hawks, who had a completely different starting lineup than
they had in last year’s season-opener. Al Harrington had 13 points and six
rebounds in his debut with the team, which suffered a similar result
despite the new faces. Atlanta’s Mike Woodson made his head coaching debut.

Final Score: LA Clippers 114, Seattle 84

Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) – Bobby Simmons poured in a career-high 30
points and Elton Brand had 21, as the Los Angeles Clippers led wire-to-wire in
a 114-84 season-opening victory over the Seattle SuperSonics at the Staples
Center. It was the largest margin of victory on opening night for the Clippers
since 1976 when the franchise was known as the Buffalo Braves. The club also
broke a seven-game skid in season openers, while Seattle saw its streak of
three wins on opening night come to a close. Simmons made 13 of his 15
attempts from the field while Brand shot 10-for-15 to go with seven rebounds
in a hot-shooting night for the Clippers. The team as a whole drained 44-of-70
field goals for a scorching 63 percent clip, helped along by Chris Wilcox’s 15
points. Seattle, winners of the previous six head-to-head meetings, connected
on just 37 percent of its shots, getting 24 points from Rashard Lewis and 20
from Vladimir Radmanovic. Ray Allen managed 20 points on a dismal 7-for-18
effort.

Final Score: Utah 104, LA Lakers 78

Salt Lake City, UT (Sports Network) – Carlos Boozer scored 27 points and
grabbed 11 rebounds in his Utah debut as the Jazz pounded the Los Angeles
Lakers, 104-78, at the Delta Center. Andrei Kirilenko, who received a
lucrative contract extension last week, scored 16 points, blocked a career-
high eight shots and hauled in six boards for the Jazz, who opened their
season in positive fashion. Matt Harpring added 23 points for Utah. Boozer was
signed as a free agent in the offseason after spending his first two years in
Cleveland. Kobe Bryant poured in a game-high 38 points for the Lakers, who
fell to 1-1 on the campaign after posting an 89-78 win over Denver on Tuesday.
Bryant ended 9-of-21 from the floor and was 16-of-20 from the foul line. Lamar
Odom had 14 points and nine boards for Los Angeles, which never led in the
game. The Lakers shot a franchise-low 29 percent from the field (20-of-68),
compared to 38-of-75 shooting by Utah (51 percent).

Final Score: Portland 78, Golden State 75

Oakland, CA (Sports Network) – Nick Van Exel came off the bench to post a
game-high 20 points and lead Portland over Golden State, 78-75, at The Arena
in the season-opener for both teams. Shareef Abdur-Rahim added 18 points for
the Trail Blazers, who are looking to get back into the playoffs after failing
to do so for the first time in 22 years last season. Mike Dunleavy netted 17
points for the Warriors, who lost in the NBA debut of Mike Montgomery. Golden
State’s executive vice president of basketball operations Chris Mullin decided
to turn the Warriors upside down during the offseason. He fired head coach
Eric Musselman and lured Stanford’s Montgomery away from his cushy college
job. Troy Murphy added 15 points and 11 rebounds in the loss. Golden State led
by six heading into the final 12 minutes, but the Trail Blazers outscored the
Warriors 25-16 in the final quarter to tally the victory.