Yao scores 32, but the Rockets lose
Lamar Odom supplemented 20 points with 13 rebounds and Kobe Bryant added 19 points to overcome a big night from Yao Ming as the Los Angeles Lakers ground out an 84-79 win over the Rockets in Houston Saturday.
Yao had 32 points and seven rebounds to help the Rockets come back from a big early deficit, but just one other Rocket could score in double-figures as the Lakers defense did a strong job for most of the night.
The Lakers blew a 22-point third quarter lead, but rallied to give former Houston coach Rudy Tomjanovich a win over his former team.
Tomjanovich was honored in an emotional pre-game ceremony which paid tribute to his 33 years with the Rockets organization as a player, scout, assistant coach and head coach.
He led Houston two back-to-back NBA titles as a coach in 1994-95.
Bryant also pulled down 11 rebounds for the new-look Lakers, while Chucky Atkins chipped in with 10 points.
Jim Jackson scored 15 points for the Rockets, who trailed 47-35 at the half and shot just 35 percent from the field in the game.
In other games, LeBron James scored 24 points and had nine rebounds to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers to their third straight win, a 105-74 romp over the Washington Wizards.
Zydrunas Ilgauskas added 21 points for the Cavaliers, who improved to 3-3 after dropping their first three games of the season.
Drew Gooden added 14 points and 15 rebounds and Jeff McInnis had 13 points and 11 assists for the Cavs, who have not been at .500 in more than two years.
Gilbert Arenas scored 25 points to lead the Wizards, who cut an early 23-point deficit to six in the third quarter before falling away in the later stages of the game.
In East Rutherford, Dirk Nowitzki had 31 points, seven rebounds and seven assists as the Dallas Mavericks beat the New Jersey Nets 94-78.
Jerry Stackhouse added 28 points off the bench for the Mavericks, who have beaten the Nets nine straight times dating back to 2000.
Richard Jefferson had 28 points and 10 rebounds for the Nets, who lost at home for the third time in four games this season.
James Richardson scored 27 points as the Golden State Warriors won after opening the season with six straight losses, defeating the expansion Bobcats 103-87 in Charlotte.
In Atlanta, Tim Duncan had 26 points and 18 rebounds to lead the San Antonio Spurs past the Hawks 103-88.
In Indianapolis, Jermaine O'Neal had 33 points and 12 rebounds as the Indiana Pacers outlasted the New York Knicks 103-97, despite a 27-point haul from Stephon Marbury .
Corey Maggette's 23 points led six Clippers in double-figures as Los Angeles dropped the Chicago Bulls to 0-4 with a 97-96 win.
In Milwaukee, Michael Redd scored 30 points as the Bucks kept the New Orleans Hornets winless after six games, downing the Hornets 94-91.
Keith Van Horn and Desmond Mason both added 17 points for Milwaukee, which has won three straight after a season-opening loss to Orlando.
In Salt Lake City, Carlos Boozer had 20 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Utah Jazz to a 108-93 win over the Detroit Pistons.
Chris Webber had 28 points and 10 rebounds as the Sacramento Kings clung on to beat the Suns 113-111 in Phoenix.
In Portland, Zach Randolph had 27 points and 16 rebounds to lead the Trailblazers past the Toronto Raptors 105-102.