Gerald Wallace slid face-first off the court after a hard foul, popped back up and looked at the scoreboard. He wasn't seeing things -- the Charlotte Bobcats really were on their way to the first win in franchise history.
The expansion Bobcats wrestled for rebounds, scrambled after loose balls, and outhustled the Orlando Magic en route to a 111-100 victory last night in Charlotte, N.C.
Primoz Brezec, quickly emerging as Charlotte's star player, had 20 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Bobcats. Wallace added 18 points and 10 rebounds, Steve Smith had 14 points, and Jason Hart had 14 points and 11 assists.
Cuttino Mobley led the Magic with 23 points. Grant Hill, playing in his first back-to-back games since Dec. 15-16, 2002, scored 16 for the Magic. Hedo Turkoglu also had 16.
Heat 118, Wizards 106 -- Dwyane Wade had career highs with 37 points and 12 assists to again overshadow Shaquille O'Neal, and Miami improved to 3-0 for the second time in franchise history with a victory in Washington. Wade made 11 of 16 field goals, 14 of 16 free throws and outshone the Wizards trio of Gilbert Arenas, Antawn Jamison, and Larry Hughes, who combined for 77 points and rallied Washington from a 10-point third-quarter deficit to tie the game late.
Pistons 99, 76ers 91 -- Chauncey Billups had 20 points and 10 assists, and Richard Hamilton added 17 points, leading Detroit past Philadelphia in Auburn Hills, Mich. Allen Iverson scored 31 points for the Sixers. He was limited to just 8 points in the second half.
Pacers 100, Bulls 90 -- With five players sitting out and both All-Stars on the bench with foul trouble, a group of role players went on a big run to extend Indiana's lead in the Pacers' win over visiting Chicago. Fred Jones hit three 3-pointers during the 19-6 spurt in the third quarter, and Stephen Jackson led the way with 24 points and four steals to help the banged-up Pacers improve to 3-0.
Suns 112, Nets 80 -- Steve Nash had 17 points and eight assists, and visiting Phoenix rode 57.4-percent shooting to its third straight victory.
Timberwolves 99, Hornets 92 -- Latrell Sprewell ended a quiet night with a flurry, scoring 7 points over a two-minute span down the stretch, sparking Minnesota to victory over New Orleans in Minneapolis.
Mavericks 112, Grizzlies 88 -- Dirk Nowitzki hit a nifty basket that turned into a 3-point play in host Dallas's game-turning surge and finished with 22 points in its victory over Memphis.
Bucks 102, Cavaliers 88 -- Michael Redd scored 28 points and Keith Van Horn had 22 points and 14 rebounds, helping host Milwaukee beat Cleveland in its home opener.
Jazz 106, Nuggets 82 -- Carlos Boozer had 30 points and 17 rebounds, and Andrei Kirilenko added 16 points to help Utah stay unbeaten with a victory over host Denver.
Rockets 104, Kings 101 -- Charlie Ward made two 3-pointers in overtime, Yao Ming scored 33 points, and host Houston rallied late for a thrilling win over Sacramento.
Clippers 94, Warriors 86 -- Corey Maggette had 26 points and six assists and Bobby Simmons added 22 points to power visiting Los Angeles.