The Dallas Mavericks put the worst start in franchise history behind them on Sunday, downing the Milwaukee Bucks 86-75 in overtime for their first win of the NBA season.
The Mavs had opened the season with five straight defeats, a skid that billionaire owner Mark Cuban said was "driving me nuts."
With a first win in the books the Mavs can now, perhaps, begin fulfilling Cuban's aim of building momentum, even with longtime star Dirk Nowitzki still sidelined by injury.
With Nowitzki looking on, Harrison Barnes scored a career high 34 points and Juan Jose Barea added 21 -- including five in overtime.
"It's definitely good to get that monkey off our backs," said Barnes, who connected on 13 of 26 shots and pulled down eight rebounds.
In Los Angeles, the Lakers survived a second-half scare en route to a 119-108 victory over the Phoenix Suns.
The victory moved the Lakers to 4-3, and a perfect 3-0 at home. It's the first time the once-proud club has had a winning record through seven games since a 4-3 start in 2011-12.
Lakers coach Luke Walton had voiced concern that his team would feel an "emotional hangover" after an upset of the Golden State Warriors on Friday.
But the Lakers were far from flat, taking the lead midway through the first quarter and leading 54-43 by halftime.
Phoenix responded in the second half, out-scoring the Lakers 9-2 in the first two minutes of the third period.
They narrowed the gap to 93-92 in the fourth period before the Lakers regained control.
Jordan Clarkson drained a jump shot, and after Nick Young was fouled making a three-pointer and made the free-throw to complete the four-point play the Lakers were up 99-92, and the Suns wouldn't get any closer.
"It was really important," Clarkson said of the victory. "We always could have some hangover from the last win. What we did was we came in next day, worked and washed that out of our heads."
The Lakers were without forward Larry Nance after the first quarter. He hit the court chasing a loose ball and was diagnosed with a concussion that will likely sideline him for Tuesday's home game against the Mavericks.
Trail Blazers down Grizzlies
Portland guard C.J. McCollum matched his career high of 37 points -- 16 of them in the fourth quarter -- to lead the Trail Blazers to a 100-94 victory over the Grizzlies in Memphis.
McCollum connected on 13 of 23 shots, including six of 12 from three-point range. He scored 10 of Portland's last 11 points in the game.
The Grizzlies led by four at halftime and took a 61-51 lead in the third quarter, but Portland managed to respond.
"They made a run and we kept our composure," said point guard Damian Lillard, who contributed 19 points, seven assists and six rebounds. "We kept guarding. We were proactive, locked in on the scouting report."
Chandler Parsons, who inked a four-year, $94 million contract with Memphis, made an inauspicious debut after off-season knee surgery. He missed all eight of his attempts from the floor and didn't score a point.
Gordon Hayward made a much better showing in his first outing of the season, scoring a team-high 28 points as the Utah beat the Knicks 114-109 in New York.
Kings rule Raptors
In Toronto, Rudy Gay scored 23 points to lead Sacramento to a 96-91 victory over the Raptors that ended the Kings' four-game losing streak.
DeMarcus Cousins added 22 points and 14 rebounds for the Kings, who ended Toronto's three-game winning streak.
DeMar DeRozan scored 23 points for the Raptors, his streak of games with 30 or more points ending at five.
DeRozan was the first player since NBA icon Michael Jordan in 1986 to score 30 or more points in the first five games of a season.
Published Date: Nov 07, 2016 02:43 pm | Updated Date: Nov 07, 2016 02:43 pm