James Harden scored 20 points, Omer Asik had 14 and the Houston Rockets beat the winless Detroit Pistons 96-82 on Saturday night in their first game without coach Kevin McHale.
The team announced earlier on Saturday that McHale was taking an immediate leave of absence to deal with a family matter. Assistant Kelvin Sampson took over, and said before the game he hoped the team would come together to win for McHale.
The Rockets did just that, using a third-quarter run to build a big lead and break a three-game losing streak with their first victory at home.
The Pistons fell to 0-7. Brandon Knight scored 16 points and Greg Monroe added 12 points and 11 rebounds.
Marcus Morris added 12 points for Houston and Toney Douglas had 11. Jeremy Lin helped out with seven points, eight assists and four rebounds.
BOBCATS 101, MAVERICKS 97
In Charlotte, North Carolina, rookie Michael Kidd-Gilchrist had a career-high 25 points and 12 rebounds to help the Bobcats snap a 16-game losing streak against the Mavericks.
Kidd-Gilchrist was eight of 12 from the field and had a pair of key offensive rebounds off missed foul shots late in the game. Kemba Walker added 26 points and seven assists for Charlotte.
PACERS 89, WIZARDS 85
In Indianapolis, Indiana, Paul George scored 20 points and Indiana stopped a three-game slide.
Roy Hibbert added seven points, 12 rebounds and two blocks for the Pacers (3-4). Gerald Green had 15 points and Lance Stephenson scored 12 in his first start of the season.
Washington carried a 72-70 lead into the fourth quarter, and Jordan Crawford promptly made a three-pointer to extend the lead to five. However, the Pacers then grabbed control with a 10-0 run.
BULLS 87, TIMBERWOLVES 80
In Chicago, Nate Robinson scored 18 points and the Bulls ended the Timberwolves’ three-game winning streak.
Chicago lost starting point guard Kirk Hinrich to a right hip strain in the second quarter, and Robinson helped pick up the slack by playing 31 minutes.
Joakim Noah added 17 points and seven rebounds and Luol Deng had 16 points and seven boards for the Bulls (4-2). Chicago beat Minnesota for the sixth straight time.
Nikola Pekovic led the short-handed Timberwolves (4-2) with 18 points and eight rebounds. Andrei Kirilenko added 11 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists.
JAZZ 94, SUNS 81
In Salt Lake City, Utah, Al Jefferson had 27 points and 14 rebounds, and Utah held on for the win.
Michael Beasley’s follow dunk after a Jazz turnover cut Utah’s lead to 79-74 with about five minutes remaining.
However, Jefferson’s steal and a 19-footer by Paul Millsap halted a nearly six-minute scoreless streak for the Jazz and started a 7-0 run, capped by Marvin Williams’ three-pointer.
In other NBA games on Saturday, it was:
76ers 93, Raptors 83
Celtics 96, Bucks 92
Spurs 112, Trail Blazers 109
Nuggets 107, Warriors 101