Los Angeles’ Steve Blake hit a three-pointer with 1.3 seconds remaining to lift the Lakers to a 99-98 victory over Houston and ex-teammate Dwight Howard on Thursday.
Also on Thursday, Miami held off the Los Angeles Clippers and Denver edged Atlanta.
Houston led by two points, before Blake took an inbounds pass and made the shot to win the game. The Rockets had a chance to win it at the buzzer, but Patrick Beverley’s three-point attempt bounced off the backboard.
James Harden had 35 points and Howard finished with 15 points and 14 rebounds against his former team. Howard missed seven free throws in the last three-and-a-half minutes that could have secured the win for Houston.
Howard spurned the Lakers to sign an US$88 million deal with the Rockets.
Jodie Meeks, who led the Lakers with 18 points, made a three-pointer with less than two minutes remaining to cut the lead to two and set up Blake’s game-winner.
Miami’s Dwyane Wade scored 11 of his 29 points in the fourth quarter to lead the Heat to a 102-97 win over the Clippers.
LeBron James added 18 points for the Heat (4-2), who won their third straight and extended their club record by scoring at least 100 points in a sixth consecutive game to start the season.
Blake Griffin had 27 points and 14 rebounds for the Clippers (3-3). His dunk with 31 seconds left got the Clippers within four, but Griffin allowed about 15 seconds to run off the clock without fouling James on the ensuing possession.
James made one free throw to push Miami’s lead to five, and that closed the scoring.
Denver’s Ty Lawson had 23 points and eight assists as the Nuggets also hung on for a tight win, downing Atlanta 109-107.