As the final seconds ticked off on the expansion Charlotte Bobcats' first victory, guard Jason Hart handed the ball to team owner Bob Johnson.
The man who brought the NBA back to Charlotte after a two-year absence seemed overwhelmed.
The 111-100 victory over the Orlando Magic last night was historic. The gesture from his players was downright special.
"That showed a lot of class," said Johnson, who appeared to have tears in his eyes. "They played their heart out, and if they continue to play like that every game, I think we're going to win a lot."
The Bobcats wrestled for rebounds, scrambled after loose balls and outhustled the Magic en route to the win.
Primoz Brezec, quickly emerging as Charlotte's star player, had 20 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Bobcats. Gerald Wallace, who landed face first on a slide off the court, added 18 points and 10 rebounds.
Cuttino Mobley led the Magic with 23 points. Grant Hill, playing in his first back-to-back games since Dec. 15-16, 2002, scored 16 for the Magic.
Hill said the Magic will forever carry the burden of being the first team to lose to the Bobcats.
"To this day I know who Orlando's first win was -- the Detroit Pistons," Hill said. "We don't want to be their first win. It goes down in history."
* CELTICS 107, KNICKS 73: New York was so bad in its home opener, even Howard Stern was offended.
The shock jock and his girlfriend walked out of Madison Square Garden in disgust midway through the third quarter, long after fans began booing the Knicks.
"I would have booed, too, if I was a fan. The way we played tonight we deserved to get booed," New York's Stephon Marbury said. " . . . Everything that entails going into winning a basketball game, we had none of it."
* PISTONS 99, 76ERS 91: Chauncey Billups had 20 points and 10 assists and Richard Hamilton added 17 points, leading Detroit to the home win.
The Pistons were without Coach Larry Brown for a second straight game. Brown is hospitalized after having hip surgery on Wednesday. He is expected to return on Nov. 17.
Detroit blocked 13 shots, including five by Ben Wallace, who added 11 points and 16 rebounds.
"It's a nightmare," Philadelphia's Allen Iverson said. "You work the ball in close and it comes flying right back at you. But you have to keep trying."
* ROCKETS 104, KINGS 101: Charlie Ward made two three-pointers in overtime, Yao Ming scored 33 points, and Houston rallied late for a thrilling win in its home opener. Tracy McGrady added 23 points in his Toyota Center debut, giving Rockets fans their first glimpse of the inside-outside combination that many believe could replace Shaq and Kobe as the NBA's most dominant duo.
* PACERS 100, BULLS 90: Indiana had five players sitting out with injuries, and all-stars Ron Artest and Jermaine O'Neal on the bench with foul trouble, but a group of role players led by Stephen Jackson and Fred Jones went on a big run to extend the Pacers' lead in their win over visiting Chicago.
* MAVERICKS 112, GRIZZLIES 88: Dirk Nowitzki hit a nifty basket that turned into a three-point play in Dallas' game-turning surge and finished with 22 points to help the Mavericks improve to 3-0 after overcoming an early 12-point deficit at home.
* TIMBERWOLVES 99, HORNETS 92: Latrell Sprewell, whose contract complaints have been the main focus of this first week of the Timberwolves' season, ended a quiet night with a flurry, scoring seven points over a two-minute span down the stretch to spark host Minnesota.
* SUNS 112, NETS 80: Steve Nash had 17 points and eight assists, and visiting Phoenix rode 57.4-percent shooting to its third straight victory. The 3-0 start is the best for the Suns since they went 5-0 to begin the 1984-85 season.
* BUCKS 102, CAVALIERS 88: Michael Redd scored 28 points and Keith Van Horn had 22 points and 14 rebounds to help Milwaukee win its home opener. LeBron James scored 31 points for Cleveland, winless in three games this season.
* JAZZ 106, NUGGETS 82: Carlos Boozer had 30 points and 17 rebounds, and Andrei Kirilenko added 16 points to help Utah stay unbeaten. The Nuggets stagnated on offense, rotated poorly on defense and were booed several times by the home fans after their second lackluster effort in three games.
* CLIPPERS 94, WARRIORS 86: Corey Maggette had 26 points and six assists and Bobby Simmons added 22 points to lead Los Angeles to its 11th win in its last 14 visits to Golden State.