INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Paul George scored 23 points and Lance Stephenson had the first triple-double of his career, leading the perfect Indiana Pacers to a 95-79 victory Monday night over the Memphis Grizzlies.
Indiana became the NBA’s seventh team to open 8-0 since 2000 — two more wins than the franchise’s previous best start. And they followed a familiar script in the battle between last season’s conference runner-ups by dominating the glass, dominating the second half and divvying up top honors.
Stephenson finished with 13 points, 11 rebounds and a career-high 12 assists. George Hill scored 13 points and Roy Hibbert added five more blocks to his NBA-leading total.
Memphis was led by Marc Gasol with 15 points and Zach Randolph with 12.
Bulls 96, Cavaliers 81
CHICAGO (AP) — Derrick Rose had 16 points before leaving in the fourth quarter with a right hamstring injury, and Chicago pulled away from Cleveland.
Rose grimaced after he drove down the lane for a twisting layup with 3:39 left. He remained in the game for a short time before he was pulled for Kirk Hinrich, and a trainer then attended to the 2011 NBA MVP at the end of the bench.
Coach Tom Thibodeau said it looks like Rose has a “minor” hamstring injury. He said Rose will be re-evaluated on Tuesday.
Kyrie Irving had 16 points for Cleveland, but was 5 for 19 from the field in his first game against Rose. The Cavaliers committed 20 turnovers, leading to 29 points for the Bulls.
Clippers 109, Timberwolves 107
LOS ANGELES (AP) — Blake Griffin had 25 points and 10 rebounds, Chris Paul added 21 points and Los Angeles held off Minnesota after Kevin Love missed a tip-in at the buzzer.
Kevin Martin missed a jumper that Nikola Pekovic rebounded, only to miss the layup. Love grabbed the ball and missed again to end the Wolves’ two-game winning streak.
Paul had 11 assists, Jamal Crawford scored 18 points and DeAndre Jordan had 14 points and 11 rebounds to help the Clippers improve to 3-0 at home.
Martin scored 30 points for the Wolves, who lost their sixth straight against the Clippers.
Pekovic added 25 points, and Love had 23 points and 19 rebounds. The Wolves ended a 22-game series losing streak against the Lakers on Sunday, and nearly stopped their skid against Staples Center’s other NBA team.
TRAIL BLAZERS 109, PISTONS 103
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Damian Lillard bounced back from a miserable shooting night with 25 points, making five 3-pointers, and Portland held off Detroit.
LaMarcus Aldridge added 18 points and 12 rebounds for the Blazers, who led by as many as 13 points in the second half.
Brandon Jennings had 28 points and four rebounds for Detroit. Acquired by the Pistons in an offseason sign-and-trade with Milwaukee, Jennings came into the game the game needing one rebound for 1,000 in his career, and one point for 5,000.
It was Portland’s sixth straight victory at home over the Pistons.
Lillard, last season’s NBA Rookie of the Year, was 1 of 15 from the floor with four points in the Blazers’ 96-85 victory over Sacramento on Saturday night.