The previously winless Miami Heat and Washington Wizards got their first victories. For the young Seattle SuperSonics, a second-half rally wasn't enough to get them in the win column.
At New York, Jason Williams made the go-ahead jumper with 19 seconds left, and the Heat earned their first victory of the season, 75-72 over the Knicks on Sunday night.
The Wizards avoided the first 0-6 start in franchise history with a 101-90 win at Atlanta.
But in Seattle, Kevin Durant and Jeff Green weren't enough to help the Sonics overcome a 23-point first-half deficit. Richard Hamilton scored 10 of his season-high 32 points during a torrid first quarter, and Detroit held off a late charge to prevail 107-103, dropping the SuperSonics to 0-7, their worst start ever.
``When you come from that far behind, you have to play perfect or pretty close to perfect and we didn't do that down the stretch,'' Seattle coach P.J. Carlesimo said. ``We made some bad decisions, we tried some things we shouldn't be trying.''
In other NBA games Sunday, it was: New Orleans 93, Philadelphia 72; Houston 85, Charlotte 82; San Antonio 113, Milwaukee 88; and Cleveland 103, the Los Angeles Clippers 95.
Swept in the playoffs, winless in the preseason and 0-5 to start this season, the Heat walked off as winners for the first time since beating Indiana on April 13 in their 80th game of last season.
``I don't like to lose,'' Heat coach Pat Riley said. ``It's not much fun. Not a whole lot of joy as a team when you're in it.''
With Dwyane Wade still out and Zach Randolph not here after his grandmother's death, both teams were missing their top players. And it showed with long stretches of inept offensive play on both sides.
But the Heat pulled it out after trailing by five with 2 1/2 minutes left. Udonis Haslem made consecutive baskets, and after Stephon Marbury threw the ball away, Williams knocked down his jumper for a 73-72 lead.
The Knicks turned it over again trying to get the ball into Eddy Curry, and Williams added two free throws with 9.4 seconds remaining. Marbury then missed a potential tying 3.
``It was a much-needed win for us,'' center Shaquille O'Neal said. ``We have folded under the pressure the last couple of games.''
A team meeting led by Caron Butler and Antawn Jamison provided some reassurance for the Wizards after opening the season with five straight losses.
A victory led by Butler and Jamison was even better.
Butler scored 24 points and Jamison added 23 with 15 rebounds for the Wizards, who never trailed while setting a season high with 26 assists and a low with 12 turnovers.
``It feels like you got King Kong off your back,'' Butler said.
Brendan Haywood, who also had a double double with 13 points and 12 rebounds, said there was no panic at 0-5. Butler and Jamison called the meeting after Friday's loss to Denver.
``We don't have the type of team where you're gonna come in here and everybody's gonna be crying,'' Haywood said.
Durant continued to struggle finding his shot from the perimeter. After hitting just 10 of 38 shots in the previous two games, Durant made only 7 of 20 attempts. He scored 10 in the fourth quarter.
While Durant stumbled, Green put together a second consecutive impressive effort off the bench. Green scored 19 in Friday's two-point loss to Utah, and followed up 17 against the Pistons.
Jarvis Hayes scored 14 for Detroit, helping make up for off nights by Chauncey Billups and Tayshaun Prince, who combined for 17 points.
Seattle trailed by as many as 23 in the first half, only to pull even at 99-all on Kurt Thomas' 15-footer with 2:32 left. Detroit then produced in the final 2 minutes, while the young Sonics fumbled away an opportunity to get their first win.
``We've been in those situations a whole lot,'' Hamilton said. ``We just knew we had to knuckle down and get easy baskets and most importantly stop them on the defensive end.''
Spurs 113, Bucks 88
Manu Ginobili scored 21 points and San Antonio routed visiting Milwaukee. Michael Finley added 17 points and Tim Duncan had 16 points for the Spurs, who led by double digits for the last three quarters.
Mo Williams scored 17 points for the Bucks and Michael Redd had 14 points.
Cavaliers 103, Clippers 95
At Los Angeles, Zydrunas Ilgauskas scored 25 points, LeBron James added 22 and Cleveland rallied to beat the Clippers.
Drew Gooden added 18 points and 17 rebounds for the defending Eastern Conference champions, who needed a fourth-quarter spurt after blowing leads of 11 and 13 points in the game.
Sam Cassell scored 28 points for the Clippers, who lost their second in a row after opening the season 4-0.
Hornets 93, 76ers 72
David West and Chris Paul each scored 16 points, Bobby Jackson had 12 and visiting New Orleans snapped a two-game losing streak. Peja Stojakovic added 10 points and Tyson Chandler had 12 rebounds.
Samuel Dalembert had 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Sixers.
Rockets 85, Bobcats 82
Yao Ming scored a season-high 34 points, including a pair of free throws with 20.4 seconds left, and Houston rallied in the fourth quarter to beat host Charlotte.
Tracy McGrady scored 12 of his 26 points in the final period and the Rockets fought back from a seven-point deficit to win their third straight game.
Matt Carroll scored 17 points to lead five players in double figures for the Bobcats.