Jason Collins played his first game with the Brooklyn Nets on Sunday night, becoming the first openly gay player in the four major US professional sports leagues, as Deron Williams had 30 points in a 108-102 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers.
Collins was signed to a 10-day contract on Sunday, nearly 10 months after his announcement on April 29 in Sports Illustrated. He had two rebounds and five fouls in 10 scoreless minutes.
The 12-year veteran spent his first six-plus NBA seasons with the Nets and helped them get to the NBA Finals in 2002 and 2003. This was the 35-year-old center’s first NBA game since April 17 last year, with Washington.
Paul Pierce scored 25 points, helping the Nets end an 11-game losing streak against the Lakers.
Pau Gasol had 22 points and 11 rebounds for the Lakers, who never led and lost for the 24th time in 30 games, with Kobe Bryant, Steve Nash and Xavier Henry all sidelined by injuries.
CLIPPERS 125, THUNDER 117
In Oklahoma City, Jamal Crawford scored 36 points to help the Clippers get the win.
Matt Barnes scored 24 points and Chris Paul had 18 points, 12 assists and eight rebounds for the Clippers, who snapped a two-game skid.
Kevin Durant had 42 points and 10 assists, while Serge Ibaka added 20 points for the Thunder, who lost their second straight. It was the most points the Thunder have allowed this season.
Oklahoma City overcame a 15-point deficit late in the third quarter to take a 115-112 lead on a three-pointer by Durant with 2 minutes, 43 seconds to play, but the Clippers controlled the game from there.
A three-pointer by Crawford with 1:30 remaining gave Los Angeles a 119-115 lead.
HEAT 93, BULLS 79
In Miami, with LeBron James watching from the bench in a suit and tie, Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade powered Miami to the victory.
James was a late scratch after he broke his nose in Thursday’s win at Oklahoma City, and his teammates picked up the slack.
Bosh had 28 points and 10 rebounds, while Wade added 23 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists.
The Bulls were also short-handed. Starter Jimmy Butler was a late scratch because of bruised ribs.
Joakim Noah had 20 points, 15 rebounds and four blocks for Chicago, who had won five in a row. The Bulls shot 36 percent.
Miami, playing at home for the first time in 20 days, extended their winning streak to five games.
TRAIL BLAZERS 108, TIMBERWOLVES 97
In Portland, Oregon, Damian Lillard had 32 points as the short-handed Trail Blazers rallied for the victory.
Thomas Robinson had 14 points and a career-high 18 rebounds for Portland, who won their second straight after a three-game slump.
Kevin Love scored 31 for Minnesota, who have won three in a row. It was Love’s franchise-best fifth straight game with 30 or more points.
The Blazers played without All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge, who missed his third straight game with a groin injury.
After trailing by as many as 18 points in the first half, Nicolas Batum’s fast-break layup gave Portland an 84-80 lead going into the fourth quarter. After Robinson’s basket, Victor Claver dunked to extend the lead to 88-80.
KINGS 109, NUGGETS 95
In Denver, Colorado, Isaiah Thomas scored 33 points, while Rudy Gay had 32 as Sacramento earned their first win in Denver in six years.
DeMarcus Cousins added 27 points for the Kings, who snapped a nine-game losing streak to the Nuggets at the Pepsi Center. It was Sacramento’s first win in the Mile High City since a 118-115 victory on April 5, 2008. The Kings have won three of their past four games overall.
Randy Foye and Evan Fournier each scored 27 points for the slumping Nuggets, who lost for the seventh time in their past eight games. The Nuggets fell to 1-5 without leading scorer Ty Lawson, who missed a sixth game because of a fractured left rib.
Down 58-51 after Foye hit a pair of three-pointers in the third quarter, the Kings responded with a 21-2 run that put them in front 72-60 with 4:55 left in the period.
ROCKETS 115, SUNS 112
In Phoenix, Arizona, Patrick Beverley sank the go-ahead three-pointer with 34.3 seconds to play as Houston escaped with the win.
Dwight Howard scored 25, James Harden had 23 and Beverley 20 for the Rockets, who trailed by 10 entering the fourth quarter.
Goran Dragic scored a career-high 35 points for the Suns, but missed a three at the buzzer.
Gerald Green had 18 of his 23 points in the third quarter, while Markieff Morris finished with 21 points.
Beverley, who scored 12 in the fourth, made two free throws that boosted Houston’s lead to 113-110 with 20 seconds to go before Dragic scored on a layup to cut it to 113-112 with 14.7 seconds to play.
Donatas Motiejunas sank two free throws with 14.1 seconds left to put Houston up 115-112.
In other NBA action, it was:
‧ Wizards 96, Cavaliers 83
‧ Raptors 105, Magic 90