Heat get rings, then hold off Bulls, 107-95-A A +A
Wednesday, October 30, 2013
MIAMI — LeBron James scored 17 points and Shane Battier made all four of his three-point tries as the defending NBA champion Miami Heat spoiled Derrick Rose's return to the league by beating the Chicago Bulls, 107-95, on Tuesday in the season-opener for both teams.
In the other games on the first night of the new season, the Los Angeles Lakers spoiled coach Doc Rivers' debut with the Clippers by surging ahead in the fourth quarter for a 116-103 win over their inter-city rivals, and the Indiana Pacers defeated the Orlando Magic 97-87.
Chris Bosh scored 16 points, Battier finished with 14 and Dwyane Wade and Mario Chalmers each scored 13 for the Heat, who received their 2013 NBA championship rings and raised their title banner in a pregame ceremony.
Rose, the 2011 NBA Most Valuable Player, finished with 12 points in 34 minutes in his first game since a knee injury sidelined him in April 2012.
Carlos Boozer had 31 points and seven rebounds for Chicago, which fell behind by 21 points at halftime but got within eight points in the final minutes.
Battier's right-corner three-pointer snuffed out the comeback, and Miami wasn't in trouble again.
Rose's start was promising early, with two early drives for impressive scores. The Bulls led 15-10 when Rose checked out for the first time with 3:36 left in the opening quarter. But the Heat outscored the Bulls 13-3 in Rose's stint on the bench.
The Lakers got a boost from their bench in the fourth quarter to defeat the Clippers, with Xavier Henry scoring 12 points and Jodie Meeks adding nine to lead a decisive 28-8 run.
Henry finished with a career-high 22 points and Jordan Farmar had 16 for the Lakers, who were without the injured Kobe Bryant and also had stars Pau Gasol and Steve Nash on the bench down the stretch.
Blake Griffin scored 19 points and Chris Paul had 15 points and 11 assists for the Clippers, who beat the Lakers four times last season on the way to their first Pacific Division title. DeAndre Jordan added 17 points and 11 rebounds.
The Clippers led by eight points in the third quarter, but the Lakers came back with a lineup comprised entirely of backups — including three who weren't on the team last season.
Bryant, who missed a season opener for the first time since 2006, hasn't returned to practice after tearing his Achilles tendon last season.
Indiana was led by 24 points from Paul George and 16 rebounds and seven blocks from Roy Hibbert.
The two-man tandem looked every bit as dominant in the season opener as they did leading the Pacers to the Eastern Conference finals in the playoffs last season.
George's buzzer-beating three-pointer at the end of the third quarter gave Indiana a 69-64 lead and sparked the decisive 17-4 run to open the fourth.
Hibbert nearly matched his career-high for rebounds (17) in the first half. He left the game midway through the fourth quarter after injuring his knee in a spill underneath his own basket. Team officials said it was not serious. (AP)