INDIANAPOLIS – Tyler Hansbrough took a verbal jab from a fellow ex-North Carolina Tar Heel after committing his first NBA foul.
This ain’t Carolina, T! Antawn Jamison yelled from Washington’s bench.
Hansbrough spent his remaining minutes making it look just like Carolina.
He shot more free throws than anyone else, made the hustle plays that made him famous in college and helped the Indiana Pacers beat the Wizards 102-86 on Friday night. Hansbrough finished with 13 points in 14 minutes in his pro debut.
It was a lot of hard work and things to get to this stage, but I put that all behind me when I got out there, he said. It felt great. Just a relief to get out there and kind of move forward from this injury thing.
The first-round draft pick missed the preseason and the first four regular-season games with a right shin injury. When asked whether he was surprised by his strong performance, a perplexed Hansbrough said No, then offered perspective.
Just expecting the best and see what happens, he said. I didn’t know what to expect.
Danny Granger scored 22 points and T.J. Ford added 18 points and 10 rebounds for the Pacers, who raised a banner honoring late co-owner Mel Simon before the game. He died in September at age 82.
Caron Butler led the Wizards with 24 points and 12 rebounds, and Brendan Haywood had nine points and 19 rebounds.
CAVALIERS 100, KNICKS 91: LeBron James scored 33 points in his only visit to Madison Square Garden this season, leading Cleveland past New York. James added nine assists and eight rebounds but fell just shy of passing Kobe Bryant as the active scoring leader at the Garden. James improved his average to 30.4 points, with Bryant averaging 30.5 in 11 visits.
MAGIC 110, PISTONS 103: Dwight Howard had 22 points and 12 rebounds to help host Orlando hold off Charlie Villanueva and Detroit. Villanueva scored 22 of his 28 points in the fourth quarter, but it wasn’t enough to get past the defending Eastern Conference champs, who never trailed at all.
BOBCATS 103, HAWKS 83: Raja Bell scored 24 points and host Charlotte looked nothing like the NBA’s lowest-scoring team. Ronald Flip Murray added 15 points in his Charlotte debut, and Gerald Wallace offset a poor shooting night with 18 rebounds in the Bobcats’ second straight win.
76ERS 97, NETS 94: Andre Iguodala scored 16 points, including a late three-pointer as host Philadelphia rallied past New Jersey. Lou Williams scored 18 points and Jason Kapono had 14 for the 76ers. Brook Lopez led the Nets with 22 points and 11 rebounds.
HEAT 96, NUGGETS 88: Dwyane Wade scored 22 points and Jermaine O’Neal added 18 as host Miami handed Denver its first loss of the season. Denver got 30 points from Carmelo Anthony.
SUNS 110, CELTICS 103: Jason Richardson had 34 points with 10 rebounds to help visiting Phoenix beat Boston. Kevin Garnett had a season-high 26 points for the Celtics. Steve Nash had 16 points with 12 assists for Phoenix.
BUCKS 87, TIMBERWOLVES 72: Andrew Bogut had 17 points and 10 rebounds, and Luke Ridnour had 16 points off the bench for visiting Milwaukee. Ridnour helped counter a career-high 20 points by Timberwolves rookie Jonny Flynn.
RAPTOTS 107, HORNETS 90: Chris Bosh scored 27 points and visiting Toronto used a 27-4 run in the third quarter to take control against New Orleans. Chris Paul led New Orleans with 21 points and a season-high 18 assists.
ROCKETS 105, THUNDER 94: Trevor Ariza and Carl Landry scored 21 points apiece as host Houston extended its winning streak over the Oklahoma City franchise to 11 games. Russell Westbrook scored 33 points and Kevin Durant added 27 for the Thunder.