CLEVELAND – Anderson Varejao’s basket with 28 seconds left – off an assist from Kyrie Irving – sent Cleveland to a 98-94 win over the remodeled Brooklyn Nets in coach Mike Brown’s first game back with the Cavaliers.
Varejao’s jumper gave the Cavs a 93-91 lead, and Irving, who finished with 15 points, nine assists and seven rebounds, made four free throws in the final 14 seconds to help Cleveland put it away.
Brook Lopez scored 21 and Paul Pierce scored 17 in his first game for the Nets, who were without coach Jason Kidd. He’s serving a two-game suspension for a driving-under-the-influence conviction. Kevin Garnett, another of Brooklyn’s new pieces, had 10 rebounds.
Tristan Thompson led the Cavs with 18 points. Cleveland center Andrew Bynum, who missed all of last season for Philadelphia with knee problems, played in his first game in 17 months.
After Irving made two free throws with 5.9 seconds to go, Pierce made a three-pointer to pull the Nets, who trailed by nine entering the fourth, within 97-94. But Varejao dropped a foul shot to give Brown his first win in his second stint with Cleveland. Brown was fired following the 2010 season, but he’s back and his return should help the Cavaliers put three miserable seasons behind them.
Deron Williams played just 22 minutes as he crecovers from a sprained ankle.
76ERS 114, HEAT 110: In Philadelphia, Spencer Hawes scored 24 points and hit the winning basket late in the fourth quarter in the upset of two-time defending champion Miami.
The Sixers made their first 11 shots and raced to a 26-4 lead.
RAPTORS 93, CELTICS 87: In Toronto, Rudy Gay had 19 points and eight rebounds and Amir Johnson and DeMar DeRozan each scored 13 points for Toronto, which snapped a three-game losing streak in home openers.
PISTONS 113, WIZARDS 102: In Detroit, Greg Monroe had 24 points and 16 rebounds for new-look Detroit in its season opener. Andre Drummond added 12 points and eight rebounds for the Pistons.
KNICKS 90, BUCKS 83: In New York, Carmelo Anthony had 19 points and 10 rebounds, making a pair of baskets in a finishing run after New York had blown a 25-point lead in the season opener for both teams.
TIMBERWOLVES 120, MAGIC 115, OT: In Minneapolis, Kevin Love had 31 points and 17 rebounds and hit the game-tying three-pointer with 10.2 seconds left to force overtime. Ricky Rubio added 13 points, 11 assists and three steals for Minnesota.
ROCKETS 96, BOBCATS 83: In Houston, Dwight Howard had 17 points and a career-high-tying 26 rebounds in his debut with Houston and James Harden added 21 points.
MAVERICKS 118, HAWKS 109: In Dallas, Monta Ellis scored 32 points and Dirk Nowitzki added 24 to spoil Mike Budenholzer’s coaching debut. Dallas hit seven three-pointers to pull away in the fourth quarter.
SPURS 101, GRIZZLIES 94: In San Antonio, Kawhi Leonard had 14 points and Tony Parker added 13 points and nine assists San Antonio, which got off to a strong start five months after last season’s disappointing loss in the Finals. The Spurs set a franchise record while outscoring the Grizzlies 30-7 in the second quarter.