Chris Paul and Clippers send Kobe Bryant, Lakers to 0-3 start

Chris Paul had 18 points and 15 assists, Jamal Crawford scored 21 points, and the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Lakers Friday night, 105-95, to send their Staples Center co-tenants to an 0-3 start.

Kobe Bryant scored 40 points and Dwight Howard had 13 points and 8 rebounds while battling foul trouble for the Lakers, who are 0-3 for the first time since 1978 and the fourth time in franchise history.

Steve Nash sat out with a bruised left leg for the Lakers, who have followed up their 0-8 preseason with three losses in four days.


Blake Griffin scored 15 points before fouling out and Caron Butler had 14 for the Clippers.

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The Clippers snapped a nine-game ‘‘road’’ losing streak against the Lakers dating to April 12, 2007.

In other late games, New York defeated Miami, 104-84; Houston beat Atlanta, 109-102; Oklahama City wrecked Portland, 106-92; Chicago popped Cleveland, 115-86; New Orleans nipped Utah, 88-86; Minnesota cracked Sacramento, 92-80; Memphis got past Golden State, 104-94; and Phoenix bested Detroit, 92-89.

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At New York, Carmelo Anthony had 30 points and 10 rebounds, and the Knicks gave their fans something to cheer with a win over the Heat in their storm-delayed season opener.


In the first sporting event in New York since Hurricane Sandy, the Knicks dominated a game the Heat players weren’t sure should even be played with the city still so devastated. But the Knicks hoped they could provide a distraction for a few hours, and fans who were able to watch surely loved what they saw from a team that barely could compete with Miami last season.

Steve Novak, a non-factor against the Heat in last season’s playoffs, added 17 points off the bench and Raymond Felton had 14 points and 9 assists to begin his second stint with the Knicks.

LeBron James scored 23 points for the Heat, who were so impressive in a season-opening victory over Boston Tuesday but never really in this one. Dwyane Wade, who thought the game should be postponed, finished with 15 points and Chris Bosh had 12 points and 11 rebounds.

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At Atlanta, James Harden continued to shine at the start of his Rockets career, scoring a career-high 45 points to lead his team over the Hawks. Harden, traded from Oklahoma City Saturday, topped 30 points for the second time in his first week with his new team.


Jeremy Lin had 21 points, 10 rebounds, and 7 assists, and Marcus Morris had 17 points for Houston. Rockets center Omer Asik had a career-high 19 rebounds but did not score, missing seven shots.

Lou Williams led the Hawks with 22 points in his Atlanta debut.

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At Oklahoma City, Russell Westbrook scored 32 points, Kevin Durant had 23 points and 17 rebounds, and the Thunder beat the Trail Blazers to win their fourth straight home opener.

Kevin Martin, taking over Harden’s role as the top-scoring bench player, added 19 points as Oklahoma City pulled away in the fourth quarter. Martin hit a 3-pointer and a runner during an 11-2 spurt that extended the Thunder’s lead to 95-81 with 4:05 remaining.

LaMarcus Aldridge led Portland with 22 points.

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At Cleveland, Richard Hamilton and Carlos Boozer each scored 19 points in the Bulls’ rout of the Cavaliers. Nate Robinson added 16 points and 12 assists for the Bulls, who led the entire game after Boozer hit a jumper 23 seconds in.

The Bulls are off to a 2-0 start for the first time since the 2002-03 season despite playing without point guard Derrick Rose, who isn’t expected to return until the second half of the season because of a knee injury.

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At New Orleans, Greivis Vasquez hit a driving layup with 1.3 seconds left, leading the Hornets over the Jazz.

Vasquez, who had 13 points and 10 assists, drove past Gordon Hayward, who fell to the floor, and banked in a short shot over Al Jefferson. Utah had a chance to win after calling a timeout, but Mo Williams’s fallaway 3-pointer at the buzzer bounced off the rim.

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At Minneapolis, J.J. Barea had 21 points and 5 assists in 28 minutes to help the Timberwolves overcome a weak shooting performance in a season-opening victory over the Kings.

Brandon Roy had 10 points, 6 assists, and 5 rebounds and Andrei Kirilenko added 10 points, 7 rebounds, and 5 assists as both returned to NBA action for the first time since the end of the 2010-11 season.

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At Oakland, Calif., Marc Gasol and Mike Conley both scored 21 points, and the Grizzlies spoiled the Warriors’ home opener.

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At Phoenix, Marcin Gortat had 16 points and 16 rebounds, and the Suns held off a late Pistons rally for their first victory.