BOSTON – Rasheed Wallace stayed in the game and had 18 points and nine rebounds, and Richard Hamilton scored 27 points to lead the Detroit Pistons to their first win of the season, a 101-88 victory over the winless Boston Celtics on Friday night.

Chauncey Billups had 20 points with 11 assists, and Antonio McDyess had 10 rebounds for the Pistons, who lost their opener to the Milwaukee Bucks. Wallace was scoreless in that one before he was ejected midway through the third quarter for arguing with the officials – an early lesson on the NBA’s new crackdown that has been attributed by many to him.

Paul Pierce scored 22 points with eight rebounds, Wally Szczerbiak scored 18 points and Al Jefferson came off the bench to get 11 points and 10 rebounds for Boston. The Celtics scored 10 straight points at the end of the third and beginning of the fourth to take a 75-73 lead, then gave up nine in a row to fall behind for good.

Heat 91, Nets 85

MIAMI – Shaquille O’Neal had 21 points and nine rebounds, Dwyane Wade added 17 points and the Miami Heat shook off the effects of a humbling opening-night rout to defeat the New Jersey Nets 91-85 on Friday night.

The Heat – who lost to Chicago by 42 points on Tuesday – avoided becoming the sixth defending NBA champion to start a season 0-2. And no reigning titleholder had ever opened a year with consecutive home losses, but this win wasn’t decided until the final moments.

Vince Carter, who led New Jersey with 27 points, hit a short jumper from the left baseline to tie the game at 73 with 5:56 left. On Miami’s next possession, James Posey – with the shot clock down to :02- hit a long 3-pointer to put the Heat back on top, and they stayed there the rest of the way.

Hornets 100, Pacers 91

INDIANAPOLIS – David West had 20 points and Rasual Butler scored all 11 of his points in the fourth quarter as the New Orleans Hornets beat the Indiana Pacers 100-91 on Friday night.

Jermaine O’Neal led the Pacers with 25 points.

Peja Stojakovic, who played for the Pacers for the second half of last season before signing with the Hornets in July, was booed during introductions and several more times throughout the game. He finished with eight points on 3-for-10 shooting and had five turnovers.

New Orleans point guard Chris Paul finished with 16 points and six assists and Tyson Chandler had 15 rebounds for the Hornets (2-0).

The Pacers led 72-69 heading into the fourth quarter, and increased that to 74-69 on a basket by Marquis Daniels.

New Orleans responded with a 14-0 run, highlighted by a dunk by Cedric Simmons, to take an 83-74 lead halfway through the final period.

The Pacers cut the deficit to 91-84 on a 3-pointer by Danny Granger with 2:28 remaining, but Paul scored two late baskets to keep the Hornets in control.

New Orleans led 48-40 at halftime despite two of its stars struggling. Paul was held to four points and Stojakovic scored just five points in 11 minutes while playing through foul trouble.

76ers 105, Magic 103

ORLANDO, Fla. – Allen Iverson scored 39 points, including a driving layup with 2.2 seconds to play, to lead the Philadelphia 76ers to a 105-103 victory over the Orlando Magic on Friday night.

Grant Hill, who led the Magic with 25 points, tied the game at 103 with a short bank shot, but he missed from 12 feet as the buzzer sounded.

Kyle Korver had 28 points on 10-of-13 shooting for Philadelphia, which shot 56.1 percent for the game.

Hedo Turkoglu had 15 points and nine rebounds and Dwight Howard finished with 14 points and nine rebounds for the Magic, who struggled all night to find a defensive answer for Iverson and Korver.

Iverson had 19 points and Korver had 15 in the first half when the Sixers were nearly unstoppable from the perimeter. Only 14 of Philadelphia’s 53 points came inside the paint and it helped the Sixers build as much as a seven-point lead.

The Magic stayed close by shooting 57.1 percent from the field to offset foul problems and 11 first-half turnovers. A three-point play by Keyon Dooling sparked a 9-0 run that helped Orlando cut the deficit to 53-52 at halftime. Iverson hit his first five shots in the third quarter, including a 3-pointer that gave Philadelphia a 69-60 lead. His streak ended when the 6-foot-8 Hill took over the defensive assignment. Iverson didn’t score again the rest of the period and the Magic used a 14-3 run to gain a 78-77 lead at the end of the quarter.

Hawks 102, Knicks 92

ATLANTA – Joe Johnson enjoyed another big scoring night at New York’s expense, finishing with 30 points as the Atlanta Hawks beat the Knicks 102-92 on Friday night.

Johnson averaged 28.8 points against the Knicks last season – his second-best mark against any team. He was 12-of-24 from the field and added eight assists to lead the Hawks to their first win.

Zaza Pachulia added 22 points and Josh Childress had 12 for the Hawks.

Eddy Curry led New York with 20 points.

Cavaliers 88, Spurs 81

SAN ANTONIO – LeBron James scored 35 points and the Cleveland Cavaliers withstood a late surge by Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs for an 88-81 victory Friday night.

Duncan scored 14 points in a 5-minute span in the fourth quarter as the Spurs steadily shaved a 13-point deficit to pull within four. But missed free throws – Duncan was 9-of-19 for the game – doomed the rally and the Spurs, one of the NBA’s dominant homecourt teams the last four seasons lost their home opener.

Rose says he’s accepting Suns’ contract offer

PHOENIX – Jalen Rose has decided to accept an offer to join the Phoenix Suns, the veteran guard-forward said on his Web site Friday.

The office of Rose’s agent Arn Tellem confirmed that the posting on jalenrose.com was correct, but the Suns said they had yet to hear from either the player or agent.

Rose, who received a $14.5 million buyout from the New York Knicks, reportedly had narrowed his choices to Miami and Phoenix.

The Heat could pay more than the Suns, who offered the veteran minimum of about $1.2 million, much of which is paid by the NBA.

In his lengthy blog entry, Rose said being waived by the Knicks “has created an opportunity to find a team to play on that will hopefully get me back into the playoffs with a realistic opportunity to win an NBA championship.”

Heat coach Pat Riley said Rose called him Friday afternoon to announce his decision. Miami was talking to Rose for several days, and Riley said Shaquille O’Neal and Dwyane Wade were among those who were trying to woo Rose to South Beach.

“There was a lot of interest on both sides, trying to get him to come,” Riley said. “For whatever reason, and I didn’t ask him for it, he decided to go to Phoenix.”

The Suns would be Rose’s sixth NBA team. The 33-year-old, 6-foot-8 swingman has a career average of 14.7 points per game. He averaged 12.7 points in 26 games for the Knicks last season after being acquired from the Toronto Raptors.

It’s unclear where he would fit into the Suns’ already deep rotation.

Rose wants to follow the path of Tim Thomas, who parlayed a successful stint with the Suns last season into a lucrative contract with the Los Angeles Clippers. Rose would be playing in a fast-paced style directed by two-time MVP point guard Steve Nash, rather than the more structured approach of Pat Riley’s Heat.

Rose began his career in Denver, then moved to Indiana and Chicago before joining the Raptors.



AP Sports Writer Tim Reynolds in Miami contributed to this report.

AP-ES-11-03-06 1852EST



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