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Last Updated: Thursday, 4 November, 2004, 06:42 GMT
Heat on fire for Shaq debut
Shaquille O'Neal of the Miami Heat

Shaquille O'Neal shot 7-for-9 and finished with 16 points on his Miami debut as the Heat beat New Jersey Nets .

It was anything but a dominant debut in black for O'Neal, who was acquired over the summer from the Los Angeles Lakers for three starters and a first-round draft pick.

O'Neal had only six points and three rebounds in the first half, missing his first shot, making his next three and missing his last.

In Orlando, Steve Francis hit the game-winning basket with two-tenths of a second remaining and finished with 26 points as the new-look Orlando Magic edged Milwaukee Bucks.

Grant Hill, in his first regular-season action for 22 months, scored 20 points, while top draft pick Dwight Howard had 12 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks.

In Minneapolis, Kevin Garnett began his quest to repeat as league most valuable player with 28 points and 20 rebounds to lead Minnesota Timberwolves past New York Knicks 99-93.

Latrell Sprewell had 10 points against his former team, with Sam Cassell adding 19 points and 11 assists for the Timberwolves.

In Toronto, Chris Bosh scored 20 points as Toronto Raptors handed Tracy McGrady and Houston Rockets their second straight loss with a 95-88 beating.

McGrady had 21 points, but only two after the third quarter, and Yao Ming finished with 17 points.

Vince Carter, who asked for a trade this summer, added 16 points and six assists for the Raptors to help Sam Mitchell win in his first game as Toronto's coach.

In Boston, Allen Iverson scored 30 points, five of them during an 11-0 fourth-quarter run when Philadelphia 76ers took the lead and held off the Celtics 98-95.

Paul Pierce had 35 points and 13 rebounds, but missed a three-pointer at the buzzer that could have tied it for the hosts.

In Cleveland, Ron Artest scored 31 points, and Jamaal Tinsley added 15 points and 14 assists as Indiana Pacers opened the season with a 109-104 double-overtime win over Cleveland Cavaliers.

Zydrunas Ilgauskas had 35 points and 18 rebounds for the Cavaliers, while LeBron James added 28 points, eight assists and five rebounds.

In Memphis, Antawn Jamison scored 34 points as Washington Wizards beat Memphis Grizzlies in the first regular-season game at the new FedExForum.

In New Orleans, Dirk Nowitzki, Michael Finley and Jerry Stackhouse helped Dallas Mavericks ruin Byron Scott's coaching debut with New Orleans Hornets with a 106-91 victory.

All three scored 19 points, and Dallas had three other players reach double figures.

In San Antonio, Tim Duncan scored 30 points and Brent Barry made three 3-pointers in his debut as Spurs beat Sacramento Kings 101-85.

In Phoenix, Amare Stoudemire had 18 of his 23 points in the first half to help Phoenix Suns eclipse Atlanta Hawks 112-82.

Links to more US Sport stories


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