Celtics, Sonics Polar Opposites Early On

Saturday, November 10th 2007, 3:23 pm
By: News On 6

On both coasts NBA teams had games that put them in the record books _ in very different ways on Friday night. Boston won its fourth in a row, beating Atlanta 106-83 at home to match the Celtics' best start since the days of Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Parish. Meanwhile, Seattle lost at home to Utah, tying a team record with an 0-6 start.

They'll have a shot at the dubious mark Sunday night against Detroit. Utah showed the Pistons _ and everyone else _ just how effective nosy defense can be against Seattle rookie Kevin Durant.

Utah's Andrei Kirilenko held Durant to 7-for-21 shooting and blocked his attempt at a game-tying shot in the lane with 3 seconds remaining to help the Jazz hold on for a 103-101 win.

``You need to be close to him. I tried to force myself into him, to make contact,'' said Kirilenko, who was named to the NBA's all-defensive team two seasons ago. ``In the next few years, when he gains weight, it will be very hard to stop him. Right now, he's a little thin, and it's easier to hold him.''

Carlos Boozer scored the go-ahead basket over Durant with 17.6 seconds left and finished with 27 points _ 22 in the second half.

In Friday night's other NBA games, it was: Cleveland 93, Sacramento 91; the Los Angeles Lakers 107, Minnesota 93; Houston 104, Milwaukee 88; Phoenix 106, Miami 101; San Antonio 97, New Orleans 85; Orlando 112, New York 102; Denver 118, Washington 92; Portland 110, Memphis 98; Toronto 105, Philadelphia 103; Charlotte 96, Indiana 87; and Detroit 103, the Los Angeles Clippers 79.

Meanwhile, in Boston a new Big Three is emerging.

Kevin Garnett had 27 points, 19 rebounds, six assists and three blocks for what is now the NBA's only unbeaten team.

Their 4-0 record is their best opening since 1987-88 when they won their first six games, finished with 52 wins and went on to the Eastern Conference finals, the last time the original Big Three got there.

The winning margins this season have been much greater _ 20, 3, 26 and 23 points. In 1987, Boston won its first four games by 17, 1, 9 and 14.

``It's not only Garnett,'' Hawks coach Mike Woodson said. ``When you throw Ray Allen and Paul Pierce in the mix, you know they've got shooters spaced all around Garnett.''

Cavaliers 93, Kings 91

In Sacramento, Calif., LeBron James rallied the Cavaliers with eight points in the final 2:57, and the Cavaliers hung on.

Devin Brown had 20 points and a career-high 11 rebounds for the Cavaliers, who treaded dangerously close to a surprising upset loss until James scored eight of their final 10 points.

Kevin Martin missed a long jumper at the buzzer. Martin, who had 32 points while making 17 free throws for the Kings, couldn't draw a foul 2 seconds earlier despite obvious contact from Cleveland's Drew Gooden.

Lakers 107, Timberwolves 93

In Los Angeles, Kobe Bryant scored 30 points and Lamar Odom had 18 points and 10 rebounds in his season debut.

The Lakers were well-balanced. Andrew Bynum and Chris Mihm each had 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Rockets 104, Bucks 88

In Houston, Yao Ming and Yi Jianlian each had their share of highlights in the much-anticipated first matchup of the country's greatest player and its top rising star.

Yao had 28 points, 10 rebounds and three assists. Yi had 19 points and nine rebounds.

The game was an enormous event in China, where it started early Saturday morning and was being broadcast on 19 television networks.

Suns 106, Heat 101

In Miami, Steve Nash scored 11 straight points in the fourth quarter and finished with 30 to go with eight assists.

Leandro Barbosa finished with 17 points, Raja Bell scored 16 and Shawn Marion added 17 points and 24 rebounds for Phoenix, which shot 15-for-33 on 3-pointers.

Shaquille O'Neal had season-highs of 25 points and 10 rebounds for Miami, which fell to 0-5. The Heat had a chance to tie it with 9 seconds left, but Ricky Davis' 3-pointer bounced off the rim.

Spurs 97, Hornets 85

In New Orleans, Tony Parker scored 27 points and Tim Duncan had 24 points and 12 rebounds.

Parker, who also finished with eight assists, scored 11 of San Antonio's first 21 points, hitting on everything from a driving double-pump scoop in the lane to an open 3-pointer from the corner. There was no let up from there on.

Chris Paul scored 18 for New Orleans.

Magic 112, Knicks 102

In New York, Dwight Howard had 22 points and 20 rebounds, Jameer Nelson added 24 points and 10 assists.

Hedo Turkoglu scored 12 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter for the Magic (5-1), off to their best start since also winning five of their first six in the 2002-03 season. Rashard Lewis also finished with 21.

Nuggets 118, Wizards 92

In Washington, Carmelo Anthony scored 12 consecutive Nuggets points in a third quarter in which the home team was booed off the court, helping Denver end a three-game losing streak.

Anthony finished with 32 points, and Marcus Camby had 13 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists for the Nuggets, who shot 51 percent.

The Wizards fell to 0-5 for the first time since 1966, when they played in Baltimore.

Gilbert Arenas, still laboring on a surgically repaired left knee that was drained for a second time on Wednesday, finished with 18 points on 5-for-13 shooting.

Trail Blazers 110, Grizzlies 98

In Portland, Ore., LaMarcus Aldridge had 30 points and 10 rebounds, and Brandon Roy had 22 points and eight assists.

Rudy Gay led the Grizzlies with 31 points. Pau Gasol had all of his 19 in the first half.

Jarrett Jack had 17 of his 22 points in the second half for Portland, which has won two in a row at home after an 0-3 road trip to open the season.

Raptors 105, 76ers 103

In Philadelphia, Chris Bosh made 16 of 18 free throws, scored 24 points and had 10 rebounds to help Toronto snap a three-game losing streak.

Anthony Parker scored 22 points, including a 3-pointer with 33.7 seconds remaining. T.J. Ford had 16 for the Raptors.

Andre Iguodala scored 17 of his 26 points in the second half and Lou Williams scored 19 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter for the Sixers.

Bobcats 96, Pacers 87

In Charlotte, N.C., Emeka Okafor had 25 points and 23 rebounds, and Gerald Wallace scored 28 points.

Okafor's second career 20-20 game was his best game since he turned down a contract offer from the Bobcats before the start of the season.

Jermaine O'Neal had 18 points, Troy Murphy scored 16 points and Danny Granger added 15 for the Pacers.

Pistons 103, Clippers 79

In Auburn Hills, Mich., Chauncey Billups scored 23 points and Antonio McDyess added 14 to help the Pistons hand the Los Angeles Clippers their first loss.

Los Angeles' Chris Kaman, who entered the game leading the league in rebounding, had 25 points but only seven rebounds _ almost nine below his 16.5 average _ for the Clippers. Corey Maggette added 19 points.