The NBA returned to Charlotte after a two-year absence, but the Bobcats could not start in style, losing 103-96 to the Washington Wizards.
The game was tied at 85 midway through the fourth quarter when turnovers and poor shot selection allowed the Wizards to go on a decisive 9-0 run.
Charlotte native Antawn Jamison led Washington with 24 points, while Emeka Okafor - the number two overall pick in the draft - paced the Bobcats with 19 points.
In Miami, Shaquille O'Neal had 17 points and nine boards on home debut as the Heat beat Cleveland 92-86 in front of a record crowd of 20,235.
Drew Gooden scored 24 points and LeBron James had 21 points and eight rebounds for Cleveland.