Roy Hibbert scored 24 points and had eight blocks, both season highs, leading unbeaten Indiana past Milwaukee 104-77 on Friday night.
The Pacers became the first team since the 2002-2003 Dallas Mavericks to open a season 9-0. Indiana have already beaten all four of their Central Division foes and would attempt to stay perfect yesterday night at Chicago.
Hibbert had plenty of help. Paul George scored 10 of his 22 points in the third quarter and Lance Stephenson finished with 11 points.
The short-handed Bucks (2-6) spent most of the game playing catch-up. With four injured players sitting out, O.J. Mayo led the Bucks with 20 points. Khris Middleton and Gary Neal each had 11 — nowhere near enough to avoid a fourth straight loss.
Indiana took control with two big third-quarter spurts to build a 68-53 lead.
The NBA’s best defense limited Milwaukee to a season-low point total.
HEAT 110, MAVERICKS 104
In Miami, Florida, LeBron James scored 39 points, while Dwyane Wade had 17 points, eight assists and a career-best eight steals, and Miami held off Dallas.
James made 14 of 18 shots for the Heat (6-3), while Chris Bosh scored 14 points. Norris Cole and Rashard Lewis each added 11 for Miami, who have topped the 100-point mark in every game this season.
Wade became the second player in Heat history with at least eight steals and eight assists in a game; Tim Hardaway did it against Atlanta on Dec. 20, 1997.
Dirk Nowitzki scored 28 points for Dallas (5-4), while Vince Carter added 21 and Monta Ellis had 20 for the Mavericks. Jose Calderon added 12 for Dallas, who turned the ball over 24 times.
NETS 100, SUNS 98, OT
In Phoenix, Arizona, Joe Johnson tied it in regulation, then corralled a loose ball in overtime and dropped in a short jumper as time expired to lift Brooklyn over Phoenix for their first road win of the season.
Johnson, with 13 points on 6-of-19 shooting, and Brook Lopez scored 25 of his 27 points for Brooklyn in the second half and overtime.
The Suns had tied the game on a lob to P.J. Tucker for a dunk with 57 seconds left in overtime. Tucker scored 15 of his 17 points in the fourth quarter and overtime for the Suns.
BULLS 96, RAPTORS 80
In Toronto, Canada, Luol Deng had 19 points, Joakim Noah scored 18 and Chicago overcame the absence of Derrick Rose to beat Toronto for their first road win of the season.
Deng and Noah also had nine rebounds apiece as Chicago earned their third consecutive win.
In other play, it was:
‧ Trail Blazers 109, Celtics 96
‧ Bobcats 86, Cavaliers 80
‧ Grizzlies 89, Lakers 86
‧ Nuggets 117, Timberwolves 113
‧ Pistons 97, Kings 90
‧ Spurs 91, Jazz 82
‧ Hawks 113, 76ers 103