PORTLAND, Ore. -- Blake Griffin had 27 points and 13 rebounds and the Los Angeles Clippers opened the season Thursday night with a 114-106 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers.
It was a contentious game that had fans booing the officials after two flagrant fouls on Portland players in the fourth quarter. Chris Paul hit a 3-pointer that gave the Clippers a 102-90 lead with 4:07 left and the crowd headed for the exits.
Damian Lillard's layup got the Blazers within 107-102 with 35.9 seconds left but the rally fell short.
SACRAMENTO, Calif. -- Kawhi Leonard ripped the ball away from Ben McLemore and drove the other way for a three-point play. Then the next time down the court, Leonard grabbed it away from McLemore and scored on the other end.
Those two plays turned the momentum San Antonio's way and sent the Spurs home with a very successful season-opening trip following a 102-94 victory over the Kings on Thursday night that spoiled the regular season opener at Sacramento's new downtown arena.
"He took two away in a row and said, `Gimme that.' He just grabbed it away from whoever it was," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "He just grabbed it and took it twice in a row. I don't see many people doing that."
CHICAGO -- Dwyane Wade got the ball in the corner, took a dribble to his left and stepped back for the dagger 3-pointer.
He made a throat slashing gesture with his right hand after the ball swished through the net and started jumping around as the crowd roared.
Wade scored 22 points in a triumphant Chicago debut, Jimmy Butler had 24 and the Bulls won their season opener, beating the Boston Celtics 105-99 on Thursday night.
ATLANTA -- Dwight Howard was everything the Hawks were hoping for in his hometown debut.
Tim Hardaway Jr. in a starring role?
That was a major surprise.
NEW ORLEANS -- Soaked in sweat, Golden State Warriors star Kevin Durant's yells echoed throughout an empty Smoothie King Center, home of the New Orleans Pelicans.
"They say I ain't hungry!"
"I'm out here!"
He stood outside Sacramento's new, state-of-the-art downtown arena Thursday and welcomed Kings fans to the home opener for a franchise many believed was on its way out of town just over three years ago.
"I think it's a borderline miracle from where we were in 2013 to be here in 2016, a year earlier than they originally pledged to have an arena done," Silver said before the Kings hosted San Antonio in the first regular-season game at the Golden 1 Center. "To be done, to be here on opening night with the building completely finished with strong local ownership, it's everything a league could hope for."
The idea seemed far-fetched back in the spring of 2013 when the Maloof family was poised to sell the team to a group of Seattle investors seeking to move the franchise to the Pacific Northwest.
"As a part-time comedian I realize that my words and actions are sometimes inappropriate," Richard Harkaway said in a statement to Philly.com issued by a personal representative.
"In this instance, after standing up to boo and being provoked by Russell Westbrook calling attention to my being overweight, my action in response was clearly inexcusable and I am embarrassed. I sincerely apologize to my fellow Sixers fans, the Sixers organization, my colleagues and patients, and to Mr. Westbrook for my behavior," the statement said.
Harkaway, a urologist from North Philadelphia, was sitting in the second row of the baseline seats when he stood up and put his middle fingers directly toward Westbrook's face during the first quarter and said, "F--- you!"