NEW YORK (AP) – Pau Gasol scored 21 points and had 11 rebounds in his Chicago debut to help the Bulls spoil Derek Fisher’s first game as an NBA coach by beating the New York Knicks 104-80 on Wednesday.
Reserve Taj Gibson finished with 22 points to lead the Bulls and Derrick Rose scored 13 points after missing most of the last two seasons. Rose, the former Most Valuable Player, took only seven shots and had five assists in 21 minutes in a game Chicago led by as much as 35.
Rose missed the 2012-13 season after tearing his left ACL in the 2012 playoffs. He returned last season and hit the go-ahead shot to beat the Knicks on Halloween in Chicago’s home opener, but was lost again for the season when he tore cartilage in the other knee in November.
Carmelo Anthony had 14 points for the Knicks, who won’t have it any easier in the second half of their season-opening, back-to-back. They visit the Cavaliers, the other Eastern Conference favourite, on Thursday in the first game since LeBron James returned to Cleveland.
Miami’s Chris Bosh had 26 points and 15 rebounds and Norris Cole scored a career-high 23 points after winning Miami’s starting point-guard job as the Heat beat the Washington Wizards 107-95 to open the post-LeBron James era.
Dwyane Wade added 21 points for Miami, 12 of those down the stretch after he briefly departed with a leg injury. Luol Deng, part of the class assembled this summer after James departed, scored 12 points.
At Boston, Rajon Rondo returned from a broken hand and had 13 points, 12 assists and seven rebounds in the season opener to help the Celtics beat the Brooklyn Nets 121-105.
Kelly Olynyk had 19 points and Jeff Green added 17 for Boston, which opened a 29-point lead at the end of the third quarter and coasted to the win.
Mirza Teletovic had 20 points and six rebounds in 23 minutes off the bench for the Nets. Joe Johnson scored 19 points for Brooklyn, and Deron Williams had 19 points and eight assists.
The Suns beat the Los Angeles Lakers 119-99 despite Kobe Bryant’s 31 points after Isaiah Thomas scored 23 points in his Phoenix debut and Marcus Morris matched his career high with five 3-pointers.
Goran Dragic scored 12 of his 18 points in the third quarter, when the Suns outscored the Lakers 39-24 and led by as many as 29. Phoenix’s Eric Bledsoe had 16 points and nine assists before he drew his second technical foul and was ejected with 30 seconds left in the third quarter.
Bryant, 11 of 25 from the field, didn’t play in the fourth quarter. Ed Davis scored 14 points and Wayne Ellington 13 for Los Angeles.
Golden State’s Stephen Curry had 24 points and 10 rebounds as an undermanned Warriors downed the Los Angeles Kings 95-77, while LaMarcus Aldridge had 27 points as the Portland Trail Blazers rallied in the fourth quarter to beat Oklahoma City 106-89.
In other games, Kemba Walker made a 21-footer from the top of the key with 5 seconds left in overtime to lift the Charlotte Hornets past the Milwaukee Bucks 108-106, the Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Minnesota Timberwolves 105-101 and the Houston Rockets downed the Utah Jazz 104-93.