Steve Busfield, The Guardian
The Miami Heat collected their NBA championship rings and then spoiled the return from injury of the last man who snatched the MVP plum against Le Bron James.
James scored 17 points and Shane Battier made all four of his 3-point attempts as the Heats beat the Chicago Bulls 107-95 in the season-opener for both teams.
Derrick Rose, the 2011 NBA MVP, finished with 12 points in 34 minutes in his first game since a knee injury sidelined him in April 2012.
The LA Lakers overcame Staples Center rival Clippers 116-103. The game was close for three quarters until the Lakers went on a fourth quarter run, winning the final stanza 41-24
Chris Bosh scored 16 points, Battier finished with 14 and Dwyane Wade and Mario Chalmers each scored 13 for the Heat, who got their 2013 NBA championship rings and raised their title banner in a pregame ceremony.
Carlos Boozer had 31 points and seven rebounds for Chicago, who fell behind by 21 points at halftime but got within eight points in the final minutes.
Rose’s start was promising early, with two early drives for impressive scores. The Bulls led 15-10 when Rose checked out for the first time with 3:36 left in the opening quarter. But the Heat outscored the Bulls 13-3 in Rose’s stint on the bench.
Elsewhere, the Indiana Pacers got 24 points from Paul George and 16 rebounds and seven blocks from Roy Hibbert to defeat the Orlando Magic 97-87.
The two-man tandem looked every bit as dominant in the season opener as they did leading the Pacers to the Eastern Conference finals in the playoffs last season.
George’s buzzer-beating 3-pointer at the end of the third quarter gave Indiana a 69-64 lead and sparked the decisive 17-4 run to open the fourth.
Hibbert nearly matched his career-high for rebounds (17) in the first half. He had eight points but left the game midway through the fourth quarter after injuring his knee in a spill underneath his own basket. Team officials said it was not serious and he could have returned.
Victor Oladipo, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2013 NBA draft, had 12 points and three turnovers for the Magic.