HOUSTON — Dwight Howard had 17 points and a career-high-tying 26 rebounds in his Houston debut, James Harden added 21 points and the Rockets cruised past Charlotte, 96-83, on Wednesday.

HOUSTON — Dwight Howard had 17 points and a career-high-tying 26 rebounds in his Houston debut, James Harden added 21 points and the Rockets cruised past Charlotte, 96-83, on Wednesday.

Howard spurned the Lakers to sign an $88 million deal with Houston, joining Harden and a team that made the playoffs last season for the first time since 2009.

The Rockets led by four points in the fourth quarter before using a 14-4 run to extend the lead to 86-72 with about 31/2; minutes left.

Harden tossed an alley-oop to Howard for a dunk during that span. The crowd roared as Howard pointed and smiled at his new teammate.

Another dunk by Howard, this one a two-handed slam, capped the spurt.

The Bobcats were led by Josh McRoberts, who had 15 points.

76ers 114, Heat 110

At Philadelphia, Spencer Hawes scored 24 points and hit the winning basket late in the fourth quarter to lead the Philadelphia 76ers past the Miami Heat.

Michael Carter-Williams had 22 points, 12 assists and set an NBA first-game record with nine steals for the Sixers. Evan Turner scored 26.

Spurs 101, Grizzlies 94

At San Antonio, Kawhi Leonard had 14 points, Tony Parker added 13 points and nine assists, and San Antonio got off to a strong start after last season's disappointing loss in the NBA Finals.

The Spurs set a franchise record while outscoring the Grizzlies 30-7 in the second quarter.

Timberwolves 120, Magic 115, OT

At Minneapolis, Kevin Love had 31 points and 17 rebounds and hit the game-tying 3-pointer with 10.2 seconds left to force overtime in Minnesota's victory over Orlando.

Ricky Rubio had 13 points, 11 assists and three steals for the Timberwolves, who survived a major scare from a young and rebuilding team.

Warriors 125, Lakers 94

At Oakland, Calif., Klay Thompson scored a career-high 38 points and Golden State whipped Los Angeles in the Warriors' season opener.

Thompson finished 15 of 19 from the floor, including 5 of 7 from 3-point range. Golden State led by 19 at the half, 33 at the end of the third quarter and 35 early in the fourth quarter.

Cavaliers 98, Nets 94

At Cleveland, Anderson Varejao scored with 28 seconds left — off an assist from Kyrie Irving — to send Cleveland over remodeled Brooklyn 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, 9 assists and 7 rebounds, made four free throws in the final 14 seconds to help Cleveland put it away.

Thunder 101, Jazz 98

At Salt Lake City, Kevin Durant scored 22 of his 42 points from the free throw line, including a pair with 6.4 seconds remaining, to lift Oklahoma City over Utah.

Gordon Hayward had a chance to tie the game for the Jazz but missed a long 3-pointer just before the buzzer.

Raptors 93, Celtics 87

At Toronto, Rudy Gay had 19 points and eight rebounds, Amir Johnson and DeMar DeRozan each scored 13 and Toronto beat Boston to snap a three-game losing streak in home openers.

Jeff Green had 25 points, Brandon Bass had 17 and Vitor Faverani 13 for the Celtics, who were beaten in new coach Brad Stevens' NBA debut.

Kings 90, Nuggets 88

At Sacramento, Calif., DeMarcus Cousins had 30 points and 14 rebounds to give Sacramento fans plenty more to cheer about in a season-opening victory over Denver.

Greivis Vasquez added 17 points and Isaiah Thomas had 16 off the bench to cap a celebratory night in Sacramento as the Kings opened a new era just months after nearly moving to Seattle.

Knicks 90, Bucks 83

At New York, Carmelo Anthony had 19 points and 10 rebounds, making a pair of baskets in a finishing run after the Knicks had blown a 25-point lead, and New York beat Milwaukee in both teams' season opener.

Seemingly coasting to a second straight opening-night blowout, the Knicks instead were behind with under 3 minutes remaining before Tyson Chandler's follow dunk and two straight baskets by Anthony put them back in front by five.

Pistons 113, Wizards 102

At Auburn Hills, Mich., Greg Monroe had 24 points and 16 rebounds, and new-look Detroit won its season opener in convincing fashion over Washington.

Andre Drummond added 12 points and eight rebounds for Detroit, which is hoping to snap a streak of four straight seasons without reaching the playoffs. Kyle Singler had eight points and eight rebounds off the bench in 27 minutes of action.

Pacers 95, Pelicans 90

At New Orleans, Paul George scored 32, George Hill capped a 19-point performance with pivotal 3-pointer in the final minute, and Indiana erased a 16-point deficit in its victory over New Orleans.

Mavericks 118, Hawks 109

At Dallas, Monta Ellis started his Dallas career with 32 points, Dirk Nowitzki scored 24 and Mavericks spoiled Mike Budenholzer's coaching debut with Atlanta.

The Mavericks hit seven 3-pointers to pull away in the fourth quarter, including two in a row from Nowitzki followed by one from Ellis for a 118-102 lead with 1:18 remaining.