The Los Angeles Lakers got their rings, and the Utah Jazz seemed to get jealous.
Ruining the Lakers’ celebration of their championship, Karl Malone scored 26 points and John Stockton had 21 points and 14 assists for the Jazz in their 97-92 victory Wednesday night.
``They’re the champions. Of course, we want to beat them on their floor,″ Malone said. ``It’s a big win. I’m not going to lie to you.″
After two nights, the Jazz, the Philadelphia 76ers and the Cleveland Cavaliers are 2-0 as Philadelphia defeated Toronto 104-98 and Cleveland topped Sacramento 102-100 in double overtime.
In other NBA games, Miami beat Orlando 105-79, Boston defeated Detroit 103-83, Washington stopped Charlotte 95-77 and Seattle beat Denver 112-99.
Bryon Russell added 18 points and Quincy Lewis scored 14 for the Jazz, who took the lead for good in the opening three minutes, but had to hold off the Lakers in the late going for their second straight victory.
Before the game, the Lakers raised their seventh championship banner and received their championship rings in a 15-minute ceremony. They won their first title since 1988 last June, beating the Indiana Pacers in the finals.
Malone made the game’s biggest shot, connecting on a 15-foot jumper off an assist from Stockton to give the Jazz a 91-88 lead with 33 seconds left. Lewis made two free throws 5 seconds later.
``He just made a very tough shot,″ Stockton said of his longtime teammate. I’ve seen it time and time again.
``This was a good opportunity to catch the Lakers. They had the celebration before the game. We played decently. We’ve got a lot of work left to do.″
The Lakers were a two-man team for the most part as Shaquille O’Neal scored 34 points and Kobe Bryant added 31. O’Neal also had 15 rebounds, but shot only 6-of-18 on free throws.
``They just played a better game than we did,″ O’Neal said. ``They hit shots, moved the ball around and took care of the ball, and we did the opposite. However, we still had opportunities to win the game.″
Said Bryant: ``Stockton played like the old Stockton, the young one.″
76ers 104, Raptors 98
Allen Iverson scored 24 points, and host Philadelphia overcame a big first quarter by Vince Carter.
Iverson also had five rebounds and five assists. Eric Snow scored 16 points and Tyrone Hill added 12.
Carter scored 15 of his 25 points in the first quarter when the Raptors opened a 10-point lead. Mark Jackson added 16 points and 12 assists, and Antonio Davis had 18 points and 11 rebounds.
Cavaliers 102, Kings 100, 2OT
Lamond Murray scored all six of Cleveland’s points in the second overtime before slapping the ball away from Doug Christie just before the final buzzer.
Murray, who finished with 18 points, reached in and poked the ball away as Christie was about to go up for a potential game-tying shot.
Andre Miller had 17 points and eight assists for the Cavs before falling hard and bruising his right knee in the second overtime.
Chris Webber scored 27 points in 50 minutes and Predrag Stojakovic had 23 for the second straight night for visiting Sacramento.
Heat 105, Magic 79
At Miami, Pat Riley earned his 1,000th coaching victory as the revamped Heat meshed marvelously, racing to a 20-point lead after 7 1/2 minutes.
Alonzo Mourning, who will miss this season with a kidney disorder, received a heart-warming ovation when introduced before the game.
Tim Hardaway scored 12 of the first 27 points for the Heat, who raced to leads of 17-3, 28-7 and 37-14. Hardaway finished with 17 points and seven assists in 25 minutes to help give the Heat their most lopsided win in an opener.
Eddie Jones added 17 points and reserve Don MacLean 16.
Grant Hill sat out with soreness in his left ankle after playing 33 minutes in Orlando’s season-opening victory Tuesday over Washington.
Celtics 103, Pistons 83
Paul Pierce showed no ill effects from being stabbed last month, scoring 28 points _ 20 in the first half _ to lead Boston.
Antoine Walker had 33 points and 12 rebounds as the Celtics improved to 3-1 in season openers in the Rick Pitino era.
One night after scoring a career-high 44 points in Detroit’s season-opening victory at Toronto, Jerry Stackhouse scored 20 but shot just 7-of-21. The visiting Pistons shot just 36 percent overall as they fell behind 56-40 at the half and got no closer than nine in the second half.
Wizards 95, Hornets 77
Richard Hamilton scored 15 of his 23 points in the fourth quarter to lead Washington to victory at Charlotte.
Five Wizards scored in double figures to give first-year coach Leonard Hamilton his first victory as an NBA coach in front of a hometown crowd. Hamilton, who coached 10 seasons at the University of Miami before getting the Washington job, is a native of Gastonia, N.C.
Rod Strickland added 18 points for Washington, Juwan Howard had 13, Felipe Lopez scored 12 and Mitch Richmond had 10 to move into 25th place on the career scoring list.
Jamal Mashburn and Elden Campbell scored 13 each to lead Charlotte.
SuperSonics 112, Nuggets 99
Gary Payton had 35 points and had 10 assists to lead Seattle over Denver.
Patrick Ewing added 11 points and eight rebounds and displayed an arsenal of behind-the-head and over-the-shoulder passes in his first game for the Sonics at Key Arena after being traded from the New York Knicks.
Rashard Lewis had 18 points, Shammond Williams 16 and Vin Baker 10 points and eight rebounds for the Sonics, who took the lead with 10:36 remaining in the first quarter and never relinquished it.