LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kobe Bryant had nine points and eight rebounds in his season debut for the Lakers, but Amir Johnson scored a career-high 32 points in the trade-depleted Toronto Raptors’ 106-94 victory over Los Angeles on Sunday.
Bryant began his 18th NBA season by going 2 for 9 with four assists and eight turnovers in 28 minutes. The fourth-leading scorer in NBA history hadn’t played since tearing his Achilles tendon in April, undergoing several months of rehabilitation to return for Los Angeles’ 20th game of the new season.
But the Lakers never led, and Toronto improbably snapped its five-game losing streak despite playing without forward Rudy Gay, who is expected to be traded to Sacramento on Monday as the centerpiece of an apparent seven-player deal.
Kyle Lowry had 23 points and eight assists, and DeMar DeRozan added 10 of his 26 points in the final 4:35 of the Raptors’ first road win over the Lakers in 11 tries since Dec. 28, 2001.
Nick Young scored 19 points for the Lakers, who went 10-9 without Bryant this season, forging a winning record without the five-time NBA champion and with little help from fellow injured MVP Steve Nash.
CELTICS 114, KNICKS 73
NEW YORK (AP) — Jordan Crawford scored 23 points and Boston had the most-lopsided victory in the NBA this season, battering New York.
Jared Sullinger added 21 points for the Celtics, who jumped to leads of 12-0, 18-1 and 25-3 and improved their Atlantic Division-leading record to 10-12.
The Celtics led 58-31 at halftime, then Crawford made four 3-pointers in a 34-point quarter that extended Boston’s lead to 92-56. The Celtics then scored the first four points of the fourth for a 40-point bulge, triggering loud boos that would get louder at the final buzzer. Boston went on to surpass a 38-point victory by the Clippers over Chicago that had been the NBA’s biggest victory this season.
Carmelo Anthony scored 19 points for the Knicks.
HEAT 110, PISTONS 95
AUBURN HILLS, Michigan (AP) — LeBron James had 24 points, nine assists and seven rebounds as Miami cruised past Detroit, avenging a home loss to the Pistons less than a week ago.
Ray Allen added 18 points for the Heat, who were without Dwyane Wade but still shot 56 percent from the field and 11 of 28 from 3-point range. Miami took a 16-5 lead, and although the Pistons fought back, the Heat went on a 13-2 run in the third quarter to make it 74-57.
Andre Drummond had 19 points and 14 rebounds for Detroit, which had its four-game winning streak snapped.
The Pistons beat the Heat 107-97 on Tuesday night.
THUNDER 118, PACERS 94
OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Kevin Durant had 36 points and 10 rebounds as Oklahoma City turned a matchup of two of the NBA’s best teams into a blowout over Indiana.
The Thunder (15-4) improved to 10-0 at home.
Durant was 14 of 23 from the field and Oklahoma City shot a season-best 61 percent (47 of 77). Russell Westbrook finished with 26 points, Reggie Jackson had 15 and Serge Ibaka 13 for the Thunder.
Paul George scored 32 points for the Pacers (18-3), who shot 40 percent (34 of 85).
ROCKETS 98, MAGIC 88
HOUSTON (AP) — Dwight Howard celebrated his 28th birthday in a big way, getting 20 points and 22 rebounds to lead Houston over Orlando.
James Harden scored 27 points and also had 10 assists and eight rebounds for the Rockets. Terrence Jones added 16 points and 13 rebounds. Glenn Davis scored 18 points in Orlando’s fifth straight loss.