Thursday, October 27, 2016

Westbrook, Thunder spoil Embiid's debut for 76ers

The Philadelphia 76ers told a national anthem singer and a middle finger-flipping fan to hit the road.
Russell Westbrook then sent the Sixers packing with a loss and showed life without Kevin Durant might not be so bad for Oklahoma City.
Westbrook stared down a double bird and spoiled Joel Embiid's debut with 32 points and 12 rebounds to lead the Thunder to a 103-97 victory on Wednesday night.
Westbrook's surge down the stretch capped a peculiar night in Philly.
The 76ers had a tripleheader of image faux pas on opening night: The scheduled anthem singer says she was booted because she wanted to wear a "We Matter" jersey; a fan was kicked out for extending two middle fingers at Westbrook; and halftime singer Desiigner was booed off the court for a shirtless performance where he dropped his pants past his rear.
"Crazy, right?" Westbrook said. "I turned a new leaf though because that cost me $25,000 last time. I guess the fan, he'll be all right. I guess they can say whatever they want to the players and do what they want."
Westbrook was fined by the league for "directing inappropriate language toward a fan" in a playoff game last year. He took the high road toward the Sixers fan and stuck around to score the decisive points on opening night for the Thunder in their first game since Durant left in free agency and signed with the Golden State Warriors.
Embiid nearly matched Westbrook down the stretch and showed a needed spark for the Sixers.
Embiid scored 20 points in 22 minutes in his first game since the Sixers made him the No. 3 overall pick in the 2014 draft. Embiid had sat out the last two seasons with foot injuries. He received a roaring ovation when he was introduced and fans went wild on every shot.
Fans chanted "Trust The Process" when Embiid was at the free-throw line. The catchphrase became a rallying cry under former team president Sam Hinkie.
"Having the fans chant that, it was special and I loved it," Embiid said.
Westbrook and Embiid swapped jumpers that tied the game 97-all. Westbrook sank two free throws with 35 seconds left for a 99-97 lead in front of a raucous crowd. Enes Kanter silenced them for good and sent them toward the exits with a putback layup after the Sixers missed a shot on the other end.
Yes, it was another loss for the Sixers, but one that came with a 7-foot-2 asterisk.
Embiid's performance largely stole the show from the opening-night shenanigans that otherwise tarnished the night.
Sixers fans who had been waiting to cheer for Embiid for more than two years went wild every time he touched the ball. A group of fans held a sign that read, "In Embiid We Trust."
The Sixers just might prove they made the right decision to trust in Embiid.
The sellout crowd of 20,487 fans erupted when the "7-foot-2 center from Kansas, Joooooel, Embiiiiid" was introduced during game introductions. They stood and gasped when Embiid attempted his first shot of the game - a missed 3-pointer.
He had a nifty spin in the post and a bucket for a quick 10-2 lead.
The Sixers, yes, the 10-72 Sixers, at last had a dose of good news.
Embiid starred on a nationally televised performance and gave a teasing glimpse that he just may be the franchise cornerstone player that can help shift the franchise toward respectability.
"I love this city and I just want to appreciate the moment," he said.
Westbrook, now The Man in OKC, refused to cede the spotlight entirely to Embiid. He scored 12 points in the first quarter and 22 through three to keep the Thunder within striking distance entering the fourth.
Thunder: Coach Billy Donovan said the Thunder will win without Durant, just "do it in a different way." "It will be a constant process throughout the season to get everyone to understand," he said.
76ers: Phillies first baseman Ryan Howard rang the ceremonial opening bell. ... UFC lightweight champion Eddie Alvarez was at the game.
Philadelphia 76ers national anthem singer Sevyn Streeter says she was told by the team she could not perform because of her "We Matter" jersey. Streeter wrote on Twitter, "Was suppose to sing the anthem at (at)sixers & (at)okcthunder game but mins b4 (at)sixers said I couldn't because I was wearing a "We Matter" jersey.
The Sixers ejected a portly fan in an Allen Iverson jersey who directed both middle fingers toward Westbrook from his courtside seat. The fan raised his arms in triumph and high-fived fans as he was escorted out of the arena.
Rapper Desiigner was booed off the court for a halftime performance where he performed shirtless and left with his jeans down almost to his ankles and his boxers exposed.
No. 1 overall draft pick Ben Simmons says there is no timetable for his return to the Sixers from a broken bone in his right foot. He said he has not discussed the possibility of sitting out the season.
"I'll come back when I'm ready," Simmons said.
Thunder: Host Phoenix on Friday in their home opener.
76ers: Host Atlanta on Saturday. They open with three straight and five of their first six at home.

Kidd-Gilchrist, Hibbert help Hornets beat Bucks 107-96

 The Charlotte Hornets turned up the pressure on the Milwaukee Bucks from the outset of their season opener.
Nicholas Batum disrupted the Bucks on the perimeter. Center Roy Hibbert had his teammates' backs in the paint.
The defense helped Charlotte build a big early lead, andMichael Kidd-Gilchrist had 23 points and 14 rebounds in his return from a shoulder injury in the 107-96 victory over Milwaukee on Wednesday night.
"Early, they didn't get things easy," Hornets coach Steve Clifford said.
They led by as many as 24 points in the third quarter before fending off a late charge from Milwaukee.
The Bucks, who looked lackluster for much of the game, drew energy from Greg Monroe's hustle in the paint andJason Terry's floater that cut the lead to 93-85 with 5:08 left.
But the Hornets held on down the stretch, getting a straightaway 3 from Marvin Williams for a 12-point lead with 3:21 left.
"They definitely outplayed us. We just can't let that happen (any) more," Bucks forward Jabari Parker said.
Giannis Antetokounmpo led the Bucks with 31 points, nine rebounds and five assists. The 6-foot-11 forward, now serving as Milwaukee's primary ball-handler, showed he was worth the four-year $100 million contract extension he signed before training camp.
"I'm not happy, we all wanted to start this season with a win ... so that's all I can think about," Antetokounmpo said.
The Hornets pressed early, and tried to force the Bucks to find other ways to start the offense. The Hornets also had an effective wing defender in the 6-foot-8 Batum.
"Nic set the tone with his ball pressure, trying to disrupt the offense, which not many guys his size could do," Clifford said.
Williams finished with 13 points and 10 rebounds for Charlotte, a playoff team a year ago following a 48-win season.
Hornets: C Cody Zeller, who did not play the entire preseason because of a right knee injury, was 5 of 6 from the field for 15 points in 14 minutes. ... C-F Frank Kaminsky missed the game with a strained right foot. Kaminsky was a star in college at Wisconsin, where he helped lead the Badgers to two Final Four appearances.
Bucks: Malcolm Brogdon played well in his NBA debut, serving as the point guard when Antetokounmpo andMatthew Dellavedova were off the court. Brogdon, a second-round draft pick, finished with eight points and five assists in 21 minutes.
The Bucks couldn't keep up with Charlotte's crisp ball movement in the first half, when the Hornets had 17 assists on 22 field goals to build a 15-point lead.
Kemba Walker finished with eight assists, six coming in the first half.
"We just stuck to our game plan. We made all the right plays. We didn't turn the ball over too much," Walker said. "We got a lot of stops, pushed the tempo, we made shots."
Charlotte lost Jeremy LinCourtney Lee and Al Jefferson to free agency in the offseason, bringing in Marco BelinelliRamon Sessions and Hibbert.
The new Hornets are fitting in quite nicely. Kidd-Gilchrist is back after playing just seven games last season.
The 7-foot-2 Hibbert had a couple of rim-rocking dunks in the third quarter that helped build the 20-point lead.
With Hibbert anchoring the middle defensively, Clifford likes the length and versatility provided by Batum and the 6-7 Kidd-Gilchrist.
The Bucks were haunted by familiar problems that carried over from last year's 33-win squad.
Milwaukee was just 1 of 9 from behind the 3-point arc in the first half. Interior defense was also an issue and the Hornets took advantage of the scrambling Bucks by moving the ball quickly around the court.
Milwaukee finished 3 of 16 from behind the arc. Charlotte was 7 of 23 from 3-point range, but their baskets came in clutch situations.
"The timely 3s hurt. For us they shot 30 percent from the 3-point line. We'll take that, but when you're behind, your margin of error, it's very slim," coach Jason Kidd said.
Hornets: At Miami on Friday.
Bucks: Host Nets on Saturday.

Nurkic, Barton lead Nuggets past Pelicans, Davis, 107-102

Denver coach Mike Malone decided the Nuggets should not in fact do whatever it takes to stopAnthony Davis.
Instead, the Nuggets stuck to their usual defensive principles against New Orleans and it paid off - barely.
Jusuf Nurkic scored 23 points, Will Barton added 22, and Denver survived a dominant performance by Davis to defeat the Pelicans 107-102 in both teams' regular season opener Wednesday night.
"When you play against a great player, you have a problem you need to answer: Are you going to shut him down and create problems elsewhere, or are you going to let him get his and hope nobody else goes off?," Malone said.
Denver did the latter and Davis wound up with 50 points, 16 rebounds, seven steals, five assists and four blocks. His prolific play helped New Orleans trim a deficit as large as 14 late in the second quarter down to two points in the waning minutes.
"We gave them too many easy looks in the beginning of the game," Davis said. "We gave ourselves a chance. We've just got to play like we played in the third and fourth quarter in the beginning of the game."
Davis didn't get much help offensively. The rest of the Pelicans combined to shoot 21 of 58.
Tim Frazier scored 15 for the Pelicans. E'Twaun Moore added 10 points, but missed a 3-point attempt that could have tied it with 24 seconds left.
Danilo Gallinari scored 15 for Denver, Wilson Chandler added 12 points and Kenneth Faried finished with 14 rebounds - six on the offensive end to help Denver finished with a 14-3 advantage in second-chance points.
Denver built its largest lead when Barton hit a 3 and a layup to spark a 9-2 run that made 60-46 in the final minute of the second quarter.
"I was just trying to be aggressive, staying in attack mode, whether I'm scoring for myself of making plays for others," Barton said.
The Nuggets still led by 10, at 87-77, when Kenneth Faried's 5-foot hook shot opened scoring in the fourth quarter, but New Orleans managed to keep its deficit within single digits most of the final period. Davis pulled the Pelicans as close as 100-98 when he cut into the lane for a layup with 2:32 to go.
Davis didn't fault his teammates for the loss, saying their shot selection was decent but that they missed shots they often make. He was more inclined to criticize himself for a few missed shots from close range and his late turnover.
"I'm going to have to - probably not 50 every night - but try to get somewhere along those lines every game to give ourselves a chance," Davis said.
Nuggets rookie guard Jamal Murray, taken seventh overall in last summer's draft - one spot behind Pelicans rookie Buddy Hield - played 13 minutes and was 0 of 2 shooting, finishing with a point on a free throw. Hield missed the first three shots of his NBA career before scoring his first points on a driving layup. He finished with four points on 2 of 8 shooting in nearly 17 minutes off the bench.
Both teams let fly frequently from 3-point range, but often inaccurately. Denver missed 16 of 24 from deep. The Pelicans made only three of 19.
Nuggets: Between Gallinari, Nikola Jokic and the 7-foot- Nurkic, Denver opened the game with three players 6-10 or taller on the floor at a time when a number of teams are favoring smaller lineups that feature the quicker, more versatile players on their rosters. "Obviously the trend is going away from what we do, but we're not worried about what the trends are," Malone said. "We're going to do what we think is best for us, but within our game you'll see a lot of different lineups."
Pelicans: Before the game, the Pelicans wore black T-shirts during warm-ups honoring Bryce Dejean-Jones, who was fatally shot last May when he forced his way into an apartment that he had mistaken for that of his girlfriend. The shirts had the letters "BDJ" on the chest with Dejean-Jones' No. 31 underneath. "It's unfortunate what happened the fact that he's not with us any longer, but he was part of our family and we just wanted to do something to pay tribute to him," Pelicans coach Alvin Gentry said.
Nuggets: Host Portland on Saturday night.
Pelicans: Host Golden State on Friday night.

Brandon Pirri scores twice, Rangers rally to beat Bruins 5-2

 Brandon Pirri is fitting in perfectly in his first season with the New York Rangers.
"I'm glad we're the ones who got him," Derek Stepan said after Pirri scored twice to help the Rangers beat the Boston Bruins 5-2 on Wednesday night. "That's for sure."
Pirri has four goals and two assists in seven games. The left wing signed with the Rangers as a free agent after splitting last season with Florida and Anaheim.
"You guys can all see he can shoot the puck," Stepan said. "He's got a knack for the net. It's not easy to score goals in this league and he seems to be in those areas to score. That's a difficult thing and, to me, that's a skill. If you have it, it's special and it's rare."
Rick NashKevin Hayes and Jimmy Vesey also scored for New York, and Henrik Lundqvist stopped 27 shots. The Rangers won their third straight game, overcoming a 2-0 deficit to improve to 5-2-0.
David Pastrnak and Austin Czarnik scored for Boston. The Bruins have lost three straight to drop to 3-4-0.
"You know you sure are not happy with the outcome," Bruins coach Claude Julien said. "We are here to win hockey games and not pat ourselves on the back when we think you deserve it."
Zane McIntyre made 26 saves in his first NHL start. He was called up prior to Boston's 5-0 home loss to Minnesota on Tuesday night to back up Malcolm Subban due to injuries to Tuukka Risk and Anton Khudobin.
"Zane played unbelievable," Boston defenseman Torey Krug said. "He made some big saves for us even when we were down 3-2, 4-2, 5-2. He kept going. He was still coming up with some big saves. It could have been a lot worse. Shame on us for not helping him out more."
Down 2-0 after the first, the Rangers scored three times in the final 10:44 of the second.
Nash began the comeback with a power-play goal at 9:16. He curled to the net before corralling a rebound of Stepan's point shot and flipping it over McIntyre for his third of the season.
Hayes tied it with 3:25 left in the second, banking a shot from behind the net off of McIntyre's pants.
Pirri's power-play goal with 36 seconds left made it 3-2. He ripped a shot from the right circle that was in the net before McIntrye could get his glove up. New York finished the game 2 for 6 on the man advantage, while the Bruins were 0 for 1.
"We worked hard and we drew a lot of penalties," Pirri said. "When you get that many (man advantage) opportunities you have to cash in. It brings a lot of momentum even if you're not scoring but you're generating chances. So that's what we focus on every time and then from there you let the skill take over."
It was not all positive for the Rangers in the second, with Dan Girardi missing two shifts following a hit from Pastrnak, who was assessed a minor penalty for an illegal check to the head. Girardi leaped in the air to play a loose puck in the neutral zone and, as he came down, Pastrnak drove his shoulder into the upper body of the New York defenseman.
Girardi said he "didn't really see him coming until the last second," but noted the hit landed "in the front of the face so it wasn't like a forehead or side of the head" blow. He added he underwent concussion protocol.
Pirri made it 4-2 2:23 into the third with his fourth of the season. Vesey scored on a tap-in 43 seconds later.
The Bruins opened the scoring Pastrnak's fifth of the season 10 seconds into the game. The lead grew to 2-0 14:34 later when Czarnik scored his first goal in the NHL. Czarnik fired a shot from inside the blue line that New York defenseman Brady Skjei blocked, but Henrik Lundqvist appeared to lose track of the puck and it bounced across the goal line.
"We didn't start the way we wanted," New York coach Alain Vigneault said. "We know."
NOTES: Prior to the game, the Bruins announced Czarnik had been called up from Providence of the AHL. Czarnik had a goal and two assists in two games with Providence this season. Czarnik, 23, did play in two NHL games earlier this season with the Bruins. ... Boston also announced RW David Backes had his olecranon bursa removed from his elbow on Monday.... New York lost fourth-line RW Josh Jooris for the game with a separated shoulder and is "out indefinitely," Vigneault said after the game.
BRUINS: Play at Detroit Saturday night.
RANGERS: Play at Carolina Friday night.

DeRozan's 40 leads Raptors to 109-91 win over Pistons

 DeMar DeRozan had clearly been itching for the start of the regular season. Like so many other veterans, he had to grind his way through exhibition games in training camp, gradually moving from 11 points in his first preseason game, to 15, to 20 and finally to 34 in the final warm-up game last week.
His patience was rewarded Wednesday night as the Olympic gold medalist had 40 points in the Toronto Raptors' 109-91 season-opening victory over the Detroit Pistons, his third career 40-point outing and just two off his career high.
"Preseason (stunk)," he said. "But you've got to do it and now the real deal is here and you're just trying to catch a rhythm."
DeRozan made a career-high 17 field goals on 27 shots and was a perfect 6 for 6 from the free throw line, while Jonas Valanciunas was 10 for 15 from the field to go along with 11 rebounds. Valanciunas' previous career high was 31, also against the Pistons, on Jan. 12, 2015.
According to Elias Sports Bureau, the duo became the first teammates in NBA history with a 40-point game and a 30-point game in a season opener. DeRozan also broke Vince Carter's opening-night franchise record of 39 points, set against the-then New Jersey Nets in 2003.
"I never keep track," DeRozan said of his record-breaking exploits. "Somebody always informs me after the game."
Valanciunas also played down his accomplishment, despite registering his second career 30-point game, as the Raptors led from the 5:13 mark of the first quarter and never looked back.
"Eighty-one games to go," he said. "We should not get too excited; this is just the start."
Tobias Harris had 22 points and Marcus Morris had 17 points and nine rebounds for the Pistons, who lost for the eighth time in their last 11 games against Toronto.
Coach Stan Van Gundy was particularly irked with his team's defensive play in losing their season opener for the fifth time in seven years, especially the fact that Detroit was outrebounded 51-40. It didn't help that centerAndre Drummond left the court after getting elbowed in the jaw by Valanciunas early in the first quarter, though he later returned.
"The rebounding was a major concern," he said. "(Giving up) 54 points in the paint was a major concern and 29 free throw attempts, so that just means the team took it right at you."
Pistons: Henry Ellenson, Detroit's first-round draft pick last June (18th overall) went scoreless in 2:10 of play, while second-round selection Michael Gbinije (49th overall), had two points in 2:10.
Raptors: C Lucas Nogueira (ankle) sat out. . DeRozan started his franchise-record eighth straight season opener, breaking a tie with Carter. . First-round draft pick Jakob Poeltl became the first Austrian to play in the NBA. He finished with two points in 12:47 of court time. . Oct. 26 is the earliest date that Toronto has ever had a home opener. . The Raptors are 13-9 on opening night and have won four straight.
"It's one thing to watch somebody on TV and see what he does every single night and actually being there and seeing how effortless it was. It was amazing, he was just getting to his spots, shooting over people and it's like, `How does he do that?'"
Rookie Pascal Siakam, drafted 27th overall in June, on the play of DeRozan. Siakam became the first Toronto rookie to start a season opener since Valanciunas in 2012, and rose to the occasion, hauling in nine rebounds to go along with four points in 21 minutes.
With the draft-day additions of Poeltl (Austria) and Siakam (Cameroon), Toronto's roster has players representing five countries other than the United States. Valanciunas (Lithuania), Cory Joseph (Canada), Nogueira and Bruno Caboclo (Brazil) round out the group. In their 21 seasons, the Raptors have had players representing 16 countries.
Every fan at the Air Canada Centre was given a pair of 3D glasses. As the Raptors opened their season some of the players were jumping out of the Jumbotron to highlight some of the more spectacular plays from last season.
Pistons: Host Orlando on Friday in their home opener. Van Gundy is 6-1 against his former team since taking charge in Detroit.
Raptors: Host Cleveland on Friday in an early season rematch of last year's Eastern Conference Finals, won by the Cavaliers in six games.

Thomas scores 25, Celtics fight off Nets 122-117

With 2:31 left to play, Brooklyn's Trevor Booker made a layup to cut the Celtics' lead to 10 points and Boston coach Brad Stevens pointed at his resting starters and told them to get back on the floor.
The Nets had erased most of a 23-point deficit against the Boston backups, and they would make it an eight-point game before Stevens got his first team back in.
"It's a reminder of how quickly things can turn in this league," Stevens said after his starters preserved a 122-117 victory in the season opener on Wednesday night. "I probably will be less likely to leave them in that long if we're in a similar scenario. Hopefully we learn from it, and we're not."
Isaiah Thomas had 25 points and nine assists, Jae Crowderadded 21 points and Al Horford pitched in 11 in his Boston debut for the Celtics.
Bojan Bogdanovic scored 21 for Brooklyn, including a 3-pointer to make it 120-117 with 47 seconds left. But he missed another 3 with a chance to tie it after Joe Harrisintercepted Thomas' cross-court pass, and the Celtics were able to hold on.
Justin Hamilton came off the bench to score a career-high 19 points and grab 10 rebounds for the Nets.
"Very pleased that we didn't give up and we kept on fighting," coach Kenny Atkinson said after his debut.
The Celtics led 112-89 with 8 minutes to play, and they led by 19 with 5:28 left when Avery Bradley went to the bench to join the rest of the first teamers, who started the quarter there. Brooklyn scored 11 straight points before Stevens decided he'd seen enough.
Thomas, Crowder, Horford, Bradley and Amir Johnson re-entered the game with an eight-point lead and 2:07 left and did just enough to protect it. Bradley had nine rebounds, the biggest after Hamilton's missed 3-point shot with 15 seconds left on another attempt to tie it.
Hamilton gave the credit to the Nets bench for closing the gap.
"They came in with the energy that we needed to have the whole game," he said.
Horford added five rebounds and six assists for the Celtics, who signed him during the NBA's offseason spending spree to a four-year, $113 million deal.
The Celtics are hoping he will help lead them to an Atlantic Division title this season, one year after they finished eight games behind Toronto with the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs.
"He's the same the same old Al," Atkinson said, "doing the stuff and hitting the big shots."
Celtics No. 3 overall draft pick Jaylen Brown was pleased to hear that he didn't seem to have any nerves in his NBA debut. Brown scored nine points on 3-for-4 shooting, and he added two blocked shots in 19-plus minutes.
How nervous was he?
"On a scale of 1-10, I was a seven or eight," he said with a smile. "You want to have a lot of energy, and it's hard to suppress your energy."
The Nets shot 44 3-point attempts, making 15. Atkinson said he wanted them to shoot more this season, but that number may be a little more than he planned.
"Yeah, 44 is a lot, but we'll look at them," he said. "We said we want to take them, but they have to be open 3s."
Nets: Earlier in the day, Jeremy Lin donated $1 million to Harvard, where he graduated in 2010. The money will be used for undergraduate financial aid and to help renovate the school's basketball arena.
Celtics: Injured guard Marcus Smart gave the traditional season-opening thanks to the crowd for the Celtics.
Nets: Thursday host Indiana. The Nets open their fifth season in Brooklyn.
Celtics: Thursday visit Chicago. The Bulls will try to hold onto the city's attention on an off-night for the World Series, where the Cubs are trying to win their first championship since 1908.

Whiteside powers Heat to season-opening win

Retaining fifth-year center Hassan Whiteside was a major priority for the Miami Heat last summer.
Whiteside, an emerging star, showed why it was so important for the Heat keep him as the cornerstone of their rebuilding during Wednesday night's season opener. The 7-footer dominated the paint in helping deliver a 108-96 win in Miami's first game without perennial All-Stars Dwyane Wade andChris Bosh.
He led the Heat with 18 points, 14 rebounds and four blocked shots. It was a statement night even if that wasn't Whiteside's intention.
"It's not about trying to make a statement," Whiteside said. "It's just that I'm coming out here and playing. My teammates made it easier for me and we just played as a team. I'm coming out there with a chip on my shoulder, a lot of guys are counting us out. These guys have an edge to them so I'm excited."
Whiteside showed some flashes in the first half, but it was in the second that his athleticism and strength became too much for the Magic, who were without center Bismack Biyombo for Wednesday night's game. Whiteside scored 10 points, grabbed six rebounds and blocked two shots in the final two quarters to help the Heat blow open a back-and-forth game.
Miami never relinquished the lead again after a 7-0 run midway through the third quarter that was sparked by a big block by Whiteside and one of his several slam dunks.
"He was enjoying the game and competition, even when he was on the bench and that is important," Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said. "We need him to be great and he was that in the third quarter. He really anchored our defense and ignited everyone else."
His prowess on the inside started a dunk-fest as the Heat owned the paint the second half. Goran Dragicscored 16 points and Justise Winslow added 15, while Tyler Johnson's 15 points led three players off the bench in double figures for Miami.
Miami scored outscored Orlando 74-36 in the paint.
Orlando guard Evan Fournier led all five starters in double figures with 20 points while Nikola Vucevic turned in a double-double with 17 points and 14 rebounds.
But none of it was enough to prevent Frank Vogel from suffering a loss in his coaching debut with the Magic.
Heat: Second-year guard Josh Richardson did not play Wednesday night due to a sprained MCL in his right knee. ... Both Tyler Johnson and James Johnson came off the bench to give the Heat a boost, scoring eight points each in the first half. ... The Heat have won six straight openers, the longest such current streak in the NBA.
Magic: Point guard Elfrid Payton had an up and down night, scoring 16 points, but he only had four in the second half and committed four costly turnovers. ... Serge Ibaka managed 14 points but shot just 6 of 17 from the field in his debut with the Magic.
It was Spoelstra's career win No. 400.
"I was talking to Pat (Riley) about that and he said `Oh, 400. When I was with the Lakers that many years, I had about 700,'" Spoelstra said. "That's puts it in perspective. I'm just glad I had an opportunity to coach this many games. I should have been fired three or four times."
Fournier says there is no better opponent for the Magic to start the season with than their in-state rival Miami.
"Playing Miami the first game is special," Fournier said. "We don't like them and they don't like us. It's no secret."
With Biyombo serving an NBA-mandated one-game suspension for exceeding the flagrant foul limit in last season's playoffs, the Magic had to shift some things around. Ibaka had to slide over and play center quite a bit when Orlando went to its smaller lineup and Vucevic went to the bench.
Heat: Miami will open its home schedule on Friday against the Charlotte Hornets without Wade on the roster for the first time since the Heat drafted him in in the first round in 2003. Wade is playing for the Chicago Bulls.
Magic: On Friday Orlando begins an early season three-game road swing with the first stop at The Palace of Auburn Hills to take on the Detroit Pistons. The Magic will also play NBA champion Cleveland and then Philadelphia on the trip.

Turner's opening act leads Pacers past Mavs, 130-121 in OT

 Myles Turner walked onto center stage Wednesday night - and looked as comfortable in his starring role.
The Indiana Pacers second-year center scored 30 points, tied his career high with 16 rebounds, blocked four shots and made a 3-pointer in overtime that started the decisive 8-0 run in his first opening night start.
If Turner keeps this up, the Pacers could be celebrating a lot more than just a 130-121 season-opening victory over the Dallas Mavericks.
"I was talking to some of my friends about and they were saying `Take it easy on Dallas tonight,'" Turner said. "It was cool to go out like that against my hometown team. After the final buzzer sounded, everything hit me. It was just like, `Wow, I just did that.'"
Before the game, new coach Nate McMillan told reporters he expected NBA teams to defend Turner differently this season and said his budding 20-year-old star would have to adapt. He looked just fine against the Mavs.
In a game that was supposed to be all about the Pacers' revamped roster and new up-tempo style, Turner stole the show by making 13 of 19 shots, coming up with big play after big play and overshadowing All-StarsPaul George and Dirk Nowitzki.
George added 25 points, including another 3 with 55 seconds left to seal Indiana's fifth season-opening win in six years.
"I loved the fight our guys showed in that overtime," McMillan said.
Deron Williams led Dallas with 25 points. J.J. Barea and Nowitzki each had 22 as the Mavs lost their fifth in a row in the series.
Dallas only led twice all night but managed to force overtime when Harrison Barnes' open 3 tied the score at 115 with 2.3 seconds left.
Turner could have won it in regulation with a long buzzer-beating 3, but the shot bounced off the back of the rim.
"He did a little bit of everything to hurt us," Dallas coach Rick Carlisle said of Turner. "It was not just one thing he did. He was active and he got the ball in the basket."
Mavericks: Barnes and Andrew Bogut, the two former Golden State Warriors, finished with 19 points and six points, respectively, in their Dallas debuts. ... Nowitzki didn't make his first basket until almost two minutes into the second quarter. ... Barea played despite being listed as questionable with a sprained left elbow. ... Team owner Mark Cuban attended the game.
Pacers: All five Indiana starters scored in double figures, including Jeff Teague, who had 20 points and eight assists in his first game with his hometown team. ... Indiana had 10 assists in the first quarter and finished with 30. ... The Pacers also had a 52-49 rebounding advantage despite going with their new, up-tempo style. ... The Oak Ridge Boys sang the national anthem.
1, 2, 3, REPEAT
Dallas finished the game 18 of 48 from 3-point range, one short of its own franchise and NBA single-game record set in March 1996 against the New Jersey Nets. Six different players attempted at least six 3s for the Mavs. Indiana, in contrast, was 10 of 19 on 3s and no player attempted more than five.
McMillan was just as anxious as his new players to get started. McMillan had been the head coach previously in Seattle and Portland, but spent the previous three seasons as Frank Vogel's top assistant in Indiana. "I was surprised he was away from that position as long as he was," Carlisle said. "He's a great coach, and I know him well, personally, too. He'll do a great job."
Mavericks: Dallas hosts a longtime rival in Houston on Friday night. It is the second of three meetings between the Texas teams during a 12-day span in October. They already played once in the preseason.
Pacers: Forward Thaddeus Young returns to his previous home when the Pacers visit Brooklyn on Friday night. Indiana won three of the four meetings with the Nets last season and is 4-3 all-time at the Barclays Center.

Weber gives Canadiens 5th straight win, 3-2 over Islanders

 Shea Weber came through with a late goal to get the NHL-leading Montreal Canadiens another big win.
Weber's power-play goal with 2:57 remaining lifted the Canadiens to their fifth straight victory, 3-2 over the New York Islanders on Wednesday night. Paul Byron and Phillip Danault also scored to help Montreal improve to 6-0-1 and remain the only team in the NHL without a regulation loss.
"It's still early but we've done some good things so far," Weber said after getting his third goal and ninth point since being acquired in a big offseason trade with Nashville. "Got to keep winning games. It doesn't mean anything if we lose two, three in a row. We got to keep getting better every night."
Al Montoya, who played for the Islanders from 2010-12, stopped 26 shots in his first start since Oct. 18 as the Canadiens beat New York for the seventh straight time.
"We had a slow start. Montoya played well for us, great in the first," Weber said. "We came on maybe in the last five, six minutes of the first, played better after that. He made some big saves at the end of the third before we were able to score on the power play."
John Tavares and Dennis Seidenberg scored for New York and Thomas Greiss had 26 saves in his second straight start and third of the season. The Islanders lost for the second time on a five-game homestand.
With the Islanders' Nick Leddy off for slashing, Weber took a pass from defenseman Jeff Petry and fired a shot from the point for the tiebreaking goal. It was just the second power-play goal in 23 opportunities given up by New York's league-leading penalty-killing unit.
"I knew (Petry) was going to pass it over," Weber said. "It was kind of rolling, so I just wanted to make sure I got good wood on it. I think (Islanders defenseman Travis) Hamonic went down in front of the goal and it just found a way through."
Danault gave the Canadiens a 2-1 lead with 8:39 remaining. He deflected the rebound of a shot by Torrey Mitchell past Greiss for his second of the season and sixth of his career.
Seidenberg tied it with 5:44 to go with a one-timer from above the right faceoff circle.
Andrew Shaw had breakaway for Montreal less than a minute later but fired his shot wide of the net.
Alex Galchenyuk nearly gave the Canadiens the lead about 6 minutes into the third, but his shot hit the crossbar.
Montreal came out more aggressive in the second period and outshot New York 12-5. The Canadiens took a 1-0 lead early in the middle period as Brendan Gallagher's wrister from the right side was stopped by Greiss, but the rebound went past New York defenseman Travis Hamonic in front and Byron fired it in at 3:10.
Montreal had another great chance more than a minute later but Greiss made a sprawling save on Artturi Lehkonen.
"Second period (was) probably our worst period of the season," Tavares said. "We responded in the third and gave ourselves a chance and we just didn't get it done."
Tavares tied it for the Islanders with 4:47 left in the second on a power play with Lehkonen off for high-sticking. Nick Leddy fired a point shot from inside the blue line through traffic that bounced off a screened Montoya. Andrew Ladd knocked Alexei Emelin's stick off the puck and Tavares came in and fired it past the Montoya from the right side for his fourth of the season.
New York's Anthony Beauvillier blocked a slap shot from Greg Pateryn on his right leg with about 1:48 left in the middle period and was down for several minutes before being helped off the ice to the dressing room. He returned for the start of the third.
The Islanders controlled the play for most of the scoreless opening period, outshooting the Canadiens 8-6.
NOTES: Montreal's Tomas Plekenec played in his 850th game, two behind Mario Tremblay for 17th place on the franchise list. ... Montreal scratched D Mikhail Sergachev, the No. 9 pick in the June draft, for the third straight game. ... New York F Nikolay Kulemin missed the game due to an upper body injury. He was replaced in the lineup by Mathew Barzal, one of the Islanders' two 19-year-old rookies who played for the second time. ... New York went 3-1-0 on its five-game homestand. After a trip to Pittsburgh to complete a back-to-back, the Islanders will open another stretch of five straight at home on Sunday against Toronto. ... Tavares' goal on the Islanders' lone power play made them 5 for 26 with the man advantage this season.
Canadiens: Host Tampa Bay on Thursday to complete their first of 15 back-to-backs this season.
Islanders: At defending champion Pittsburgh in their first road game since the opening weekend of the season.