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Wade stars as Bulls beat Celtics in NBA

AAP logoAAP 28/10/2016 By ANDREW SELIGMAN

Dwyane Wade scored 22 points in a triumphant Chicago debut, Jimmy Butler had 24 and the Bulls won their season opener, beating the Boston Celtics 105-99.

Wade nailed a three-pointer from the corner in the final minute to make it a five-point game.

Taj Gibson added 18 points and 10 rebounds, and the new-look Bulls got off to a winning start on Thursday night after missing the play-offs last season for the first time since 2008.

Isaiah Thomas led Boston with 25 points. Avery Bradley had 16, and Jae Crowder 14 points, but the Celtics came up short after opening with a win over Brooklyn the previous night.

The Bulls remade their roster in the off-season, jettisoning one hometown superstar and welcoming another when they traded Derrick Rose to New York and signed Wade to a two-year deal worth about $47 million in a move that stunned Miami.

The three-time NBA champion and 12-time All-Star is off to a good start with the Bulls after 13 seasons with the Heat.

Wade hit four of 6 three-pointers in this game after making just seven all of last season.

Dwight Howard dominated the boards in his Atlanta debut, Paul Millsap scored 28 points and Tim Hardaway Jr ignited the new-look Hawks to a 114-99 victory over the Washington Wizards.

Howard grabbed 19 rebounds to go along with 11 points, just what the Hawks expected from their new centre, and it certainly wasn't unusual for three-time All-Star Millsap to lead the way in scoring.

Hardaway's performance was totally unexpected given the way he struggled in his first season with the Hawks when he was largely confined to the bench and even forced to spend time in the D-League.

He scored 21 points, matching his high in an Atlanta uniform, and broke open a close game with back-to-back three-pointers in the fourth.

The Hawks, who led only 81-80 heading to the final period, outscored the Wizards 33-19 over the final 12 minutes.

DeMarcus Cousins scored 37 points and had 16 rebounds as the San Antonio Spurs beat the Sacramento Kings 102-94 while the Los Angeles Clippers were 114-106 winners against the Portland Trail Blazers.

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