Irving’s 29 leads Cavs to win; Heat knock off Celtics
CLEVELAND (AP) — Kyrie Irving scored 29 points, Anderson Varejao had a career-high 23 rebounds and the Cleveland Cavaliers opened the season with a 94-84 victory over the short-handed Washington Wizards on Tuesday night in the first game on the NBA schedule.
Rookie Dion Waiters added 17 points for the Cavs, who led by 16 in the third quarter but needed big plays from Irving and Varejao in the final minutes to hold off the Wizards, who scored the first 14 points of the fourth. Varejao had a career-high nine assists, two setting up dunks by Tristan Thompson in the last two minutes.
Jordan Crawford scored 11 points to lead the Wizards, who were without star point guard John Wall, power forward Nene and forward Kevin Seraphin. Wall, the former No. 1 overall pick, is expected to be out until late November with a knee injury.
Heat 120, Celtics 107
MIAMI (AP) — LeBron James scored 26 points and grabbed 10 rebounds while missing much of the second half with leg cramps, Dwyane Wade scored 29 points and the NBA champion Miami Heat beat the Boston Celtics 120-107 on Tuesday night in the season opener for both teams.
Ray Allen, in his first game with Miami since leaving Boston over the summer, added 19 points for the Heat, as did Chris Bosh. Miami handed out its championship rings and raised the banner commemorating last season in a pregame ceremony replete with an indoor fireworks show.
Paul Pierce scored 23 points, Rajon Rondo finished with 20 points and 13 assists, and Leandro Barbosa scored 16 for Boston.
Mavericks 99, Lakers 91
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Darren Collison scored 17 points, Brandan Wright added 14, and the Dallas Mavericks spoiled the Lakers debuts of Dwight Howard and Steve Nash with a 99-91 victory over Los Angeles on Tuesday night.
O.J. Mayo had 12 points as the revamped Mavericks pulled off a stunner in their opener, comfortably beating the star-studded Lakers without any help from injured Dirk Nowitzki.
Kobe Bryant scored 22 points while playing on an injured right foot, but the Lakers opened a season of enormous expectations with a major dud of a performance.
Howard had 19 points and 10 rebounds while missing 11 of his 14 free throws before fouling out with 2:02 to play. Nash managed just seven points and four assists with seemingly little to do in the Lakers’ new offensive scheme.