TEXAS – The San Antonio Spurs spoiled the much-anticipated NBA season debut of Dirk Nowitzki with a 129-91 pounding of the German star’s Dallas Mavericks at the AT&T Centre last night.
The former league MVP came off the bench to finish with eight points on three-of-four shooting, including one triple, after sitting out the first 27 games following arthroscopic surgery on his right knee.
Frenchman Tony Parker netted 18 points and Tim Duncan 15 for the Spurs, who shot 56 per cent from the field, made 17 steals and led by as many as 46 points.
Darren Collison had a team-high 15 points for Dallas (12-16), losers of three straight and six of their past seven games.
The Los Angeles Clippers crushed Phoenix 103-77, with Blake Griffin collecting 23 points with 11 rebounds and Chris Paul finishing with 17 points and 13 assists. The Clippers stretched their franchise-record winning streak to 13.
In New York, Carmelo Anthony exploded for 19 of his 33 points in the final quarter, including the go-ahead three-point play with 73 seconds remaining, to clinch a 94-91 win over the short-handed Minnesota Timberwolves.
Across in Brooklyn, Joe Johnson scored 22 points, Deron Williams added 16, including two free throws with seven seconds left, as the Brooklyn Nets broke a three-game slide after holding off the visiting Philadelphia 76ers 95-92.
The Utah Jazz held off the Orlando Magic to record a 97-93 win on the road.
Sacramento overcame the indefinite suspension of starting centre DeMarcus Cousins to snap their five-game slide and stop the visiting Portland Trail Blazers’ five-game winning streak with a 108-96 result
The Kings suspended Cousins for unprofessional behaviour and conduct detrimental to the team after their top scorer and rebounder got into a halftime confrontation with coach Keith Smart in the team’s 97-85 road loss to the LA Clippers at the weekend. He was told to stay in the locker room for the second half.
LaMarcus Aldridge had 22 points and 11 rebounds for the Blazers, who played without starting guard Wesley Matthews because of a left hip injury.