The Orlando Magic has some news for the NBA: Steve Francis is here, Grant Hill is back and Dwight Howard has arrived.
The new-look Magic needed all three last night to beat the visiting Milwaukee Bucks, 93-92, on Francis's game-winning layup with two-tenths of a second remaining.
_____From The AP_____
Tim Duncan scores 30 in San Antonio's win over the Kings.
Timberwolves' Kevin Garnett pours in 28 points with 20 rebounds to down the Knicks.
Roundup: Steve Francis hits the game-winning shot against the Bucks in his Magic debut.
Francis, acquired in an offseason trade, finished with 26 points. Hill added 20 in his return from a 21-month layoff because of injury. Top draft pick Howard had 12 points, 10 rebounds and 4 blocks.
"I've hit some shots in my career, but I think this one is even more special being that this is my first official game for the organization," said Francis, part of a seven-player swap that sent disgruntled star Tracy McGrady to Houston.
That trade highlighted the Magic's massive overhaul during the summer as it tries to shake off a horrendous 61-loss season. Orlando has just four players remaining from April's roster.
"The guys in the locker room now don't have a reference point for what happened last year," Coach Johnny Davis said. "We don't even talk about what happened last year. Last year is gone."
HEAT 100, NETS 77: Miami's new center, Shaquille O'Neal, had his way against a familiar face, Alonzo Mourning, from the Heat's recent past, shooting 7 for 9 and scoring 16 points in the win in East Rutherford, N.J.
Mourning finished with seven points, five rebounds and four fouls in 14 minutes for a gutted Nets team that's a shadow of the squad that reached the NBA Finals two of the past three years.
76ERS 98, CELTICS 95: Allen Iverson scored 30 points, five of them during an 11-0 fourth-quarter run when visiting Philadelphia took the lead and held off Boston.
PACERS 109, CAVALIERS 104: Ron Artest scored 31 points and Jamal Tinsley added 15 points and 14 assists as Indiana opened the season with a double-overtime win in Cleveland.
The Pacers were without injured starters Jermaine O'Neal, Reggie Miller and Jeff Foster as well as guard Anthony Johnson.
Zydrunas Ilgauskas had 35 points and 18 rebounds for the Cavaliers.
RAPTORS 95, ROCKETS 88: Chris Bosh had 20 points and host Toronto handed Tracy McGrady and Houston a second straight loss.
Houston's duo of McGrady and Yao Ming improved from their poor performance against the Detroit Pistons on Tuesday, but not enough to save the Rockets. McGrady, acquired in the offseason, scored 21 points, but only two after the third quarter. Yao, who had just seven points against Detroit, finished with 17 points.