Archive for Thursday, November 4, 2004

Shaq wins in his Heat debut

Ex-Laker center helps Miami cruise past Nets

November 4, 2004

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— Shaquille O'Neal caught the ball deep in the low post, used his oversized posterior to bump Alonzo Mourning out of the way, then dropped in a layup with no one else around.

Miami's new center had his way against a familiar face from the Heat's recent past, shooting 7-for-9 from the field and scoring 16 points in just 21 minutes of a 100-77 victory Wednesday night over the New Jersey Nets.

It was anything but a dominant debut in black for O'Neal, who was acquired over the summer from the Los Angeles Lakers for three starters and a first-round draft pick.

But he certainly had his moments despite playing on a sore left hamstring, the best of them coming in the first four minutes of the fourth quarter against the player drafted one spot behind him in 1992.

"I was ordered to be 100 percent when I came back, but I haven't been 100 percent in about 10 years," O'Neal said.

On his next trip downcourt after shaking Mourning, O'Neal freed himself with a shove to the back that the referees didn't see before knocking down a short jump hook.

Moments later, O'Neal got the ball in the low left block and hit a 10-foot baseline turnaround over Mourning for an 83-60 lead.

"It was one-on-one coverage, and I don't know anybody in this league that can guard him one-on-one," Mourning said.

Both players left for good moments later, O'Neal's night a success because of the victory; Mourning's an accomplishment simply because the former Miami center was able to play less than a year after undergoing a kidney transplant. Mourning finished with seven points, five rebounds and four fouls in 14 minutes.

T'wolves 99, Knicks 93

Minneapolis -- Kevin Garnett began his quest to repeat as league MVP with 28 points and 20 rebounds, and Minnesota beat New York.

76ers 98, Celtics 95

Boston -- Allen Iverson scored 30 points, five of them during an 11-0 fourth-quarter run when Philadelphia took the lead. Former Celtics coach Jim O'Brien returned to Boston with the Sixers. Paul Pierce had 35 points and 13 rebounds, but missed a three-pointer at the buzzer that could have tied it.

Pacers 109, Cavaliers 104, 2 OT

Cleveland -- Ron Artest scored 31 points, and Jamal Tinsley added 15 points and 14 assists as Indiana opened the season with a double-overtime win against Cleveland.

Magic 93, Bucks 92

Orlando, Fla. -- Steve Francis made a game-winning basket with two-tenths of a second remaining and scored 26 points in his Orlando debut to lead the Magic over Milwaukee. Grant Hill, in his first regular-season action since Jan. 16, 2003, scored 20 points.

Raptors 95, Rockets 88

Toronto -- Chris Bosh had 20 points, and Toronto handed Tracy McGrady and Houston its second straight loss. Houston's duo of McGrady and Yao Ming improved from a poor performance against the Pistons on Tuesday, but not enough to save the Rockets. McGrady, acquired in the offseason, scored 21 points, but only two after the third quarter. Yao, who had just seven points against Detroit, finished with 17 points.

Jazz 104, Lakers 78

Salt Lake City -- Carlos Boozer had 27 points and 11 rebounds in his Utah debut, Andrei Kirilenko added 16 points and eight blocks, and the Jazz opened the season with a victory over Los Angeles. Kobe Bryant led Los Angeles with 38 points.

Blazers 78, Warriors 75

Oakland, Calif. -- Nick Van Exel scored 13 of his 20 points in the fourth quarter against his former team, leading Portland past Golden State in the season opener for both teams.

Clippers 114, Sonics 84

Los Angeles -- Bobby Simmons scored a career-high 30 points, and Los Angeles beat Seattle to win its season opener for the first time in eight years.

Mavs 106, Hornets 91

New Orleans -- Dirk Nowitzki, Michael Finley and Jerry Stackhouse helped Dallas ruin Byron Scott's debut as New Orleans' coach. All three scored 19 points, and Dallas and had three others reach double figures in a victory in the Hornets' first game in the Westeren Conference.

Wizards 103, Grizzlies 91

Memphis, Tenn. -- Antawn Jamison scored 34 points to help Washington hand Memphis a loss in the first regular-season game at the new FedExForum. Juan Dixon had 28 points, and Jarvis Hayes added 20 points and nine rebounds for the Wizards.

Suns 112, Hawks 82

Phoenix -- Amare Stoudemire had 18 of his 23 points in the first half, and Phoenix raced past Atlanta. Stoudemire also had eight rebounds and two blocked shots. Joe Johnson scored 17, and Steve Nash had 12 points in his Suns' debut. Shawn Marion added 10 points and nine boards. All four sat out the final quarter.

Spurs 101, Kings 85

San Antonio -- Tim Duncan scored 30 points, and Brent Barry made three three-pointers in his Spurs debut, leading San Antonio over Sacramento. San Antonio led by 21 in the fourth quarter.

Late Tuesday

Lakers 89, Nuggets 78

Los Angeles -- Kobe Bryant had 25 points, seven assists and three blocked shots, and Chris Mihm added a career-high 23 points and 12 rebounds, and Los Angeles never trailed.

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