The San Antonio Spurs suffered their first loss of the season, New Orleans recorded its lowest-ever score and Jeremy Lin sank free throws with a bloodied nose in NBA action.
San Antonio came into the game against the Los Angeles Clippers looking to win a fifth-straight win to open the new season but were convincingly beaten, going down 106-84 in a dunkfest.
Blake Griffin had 22 points and 10 rebounds and DeAndre Jordan had 20 points and 11 rebounds to lead six Clippers players who scored in double figures, getting a measure of vengeance for losing to the Spurs in last season's playoffs.
Danny Green scored 12 points for San Antonio, whose 4-0 start was the best in franchise history. The New Orleans Hornets, who had won their past two games, put in a woeful performance in losing 77-62 to the Philadelphia 76ers. The Hornets committed 24 turnovers and scored only 25 points in the second half.
Jrue Holiday had 14 points and 12 assists for the Sixers while Evan Turner also scored 14. Lin's dramatic moment came near the end of the Houston Rockets' 93-87 defeat at the hands of the Denver Nuggets.
Denver was up by six with 1:21 remaining when Lin got a knock on the nose in a foul, but still sank two free throws with paper stuffed in his left nostril to stem the bleeding. The heroics were not enough for Houston, with Denver's Ty Lawson scoring 21 points and Kenneth Faried adding 16 points and 16 rebounds, including the dunk that sealed the game.
The Los Angeles Lakers slumped to a 1-4 record after a 95-86 defeat by the Utah Jazz.
Al Jefferson scored 18 points and Randy Foye added 17 on five 3-pointers for Utah, which led by 16 points early.
The Lakers cut that to five in the last quarter but Foye hit three straight 3-pointers to effectively end the contest. Phoenix's Shannon Brown hit six 3-pointers in the fourth quarter and finished with 24 points to lead the Suns to a 117-110 win over the Charlotte Bobcats.
Brown, who played briefly with the Bobcats, helped break open an 87-87 game early in the fourth quarter when he suddenly got hot. Several of Brown's 3-pointers were contested with a hand in his face, but it hardly mattered.
Brown's sharp shooting offset a terrific night for Charlotte's Byron Mullens, who hit six 3-pointers of his own and finished with 24 points.
The Atlanta Hawks produced a withering finish to orerrun the Indiana Pacers, taking a rewarding 89-86 victory. Kyle Korver scored eight straight points in a late 18-0 run as the Hawks rallied from 14 points down early in the fourth quarter. The Minnesota Timberwolves also produced an impressive scoring spurt to beat the Orlando Magic 90-75.
The Wolves led an ugly game by three points early in the third period before going on a staggering 28-6 surge that blew open the game.
Luke Ridnour had 19 points and five rebounds for the hosts. The Boston Celtics needed overtime to see off the Washington Wizards, prevailing 100-94.
Brandon Bass scored five straight points in overtime for the Celtics, who got 20 points and 13 rebounds from Kevin Garnett.
The Memphis Grizzlies notched a third-straight win by downing the Milwaukee Bucks 108-90. Zach Randolph had 18 points and 13 rebounds for Memphis, which shot an impressive 53 per cent from the floor.
The Dallas Mavericks are another team off to a good start, improving to a 4-1 record for the first time in five years by defeating the Toronto Raptors 109-104.
O.J. Mayo and Chris Kaman each scored 22 points for the Mavericks, who jumped out to a 16-point lead early in the second quarter, and won despite playing without forwards Shawn Marion and Elton Brand.
The Golden State Warriors won a topsy-turvy game against the Cleveland Cavaliers 106-96. Golden State led by 17 points in the second quarter, fell behind in the third then finished over the top of the Cavs in the last.
The Detroit Pistons remain winless after a 105-103 loss at the Sacramento Kings. Detroit's Greg Monroe became the first player this season to notch a triple double, with 21 points, 12 rebounds and a career-best 10 assists for the Piston