Rockets win for absent McHale

The Houston Rockets reacted to the absence of coach Kevin McHale in style with a 96-82 win over the Detroit Pistons in the NBA on Saturday.

With McHale absent because of what the team described as a family matter, assistant Kelvin Sampson took charge and James Harden scored 20 points to lead the Rockets to victory.

Brandon Knight scored 16 points for the Pistons, who dropped to 0-7, the worst record in the NBA.

They are not the only winless team though.

The Washington Wizards fell to 0-5 with an 89-85 defeat against the Indiana Pacers.

Paul George was the star for with 20 points for Indiana, who entered the game without a win in three.

Paul Pierce poured in 25 points to lift the Boston Celtics to a 96-92 win over the Milwaukee Bucks.

Monta Ellis had a big day, scoring 32 points for the Bucks, but still ended up on the losing team.

The Charlotte Bobcats beat the Dallas Mavericks 101-97 in overtime on the back of a career-best haul of 25 points and 12 rebounds from rookie Michael Kidd-Gilchrist.

Al Jefferson scored 27 points and pulled down 14 rebounds to lead the Utah Jazz to a 94-81 win over the Phoenix Suns, while Gary Neal also poured in 27 in the San Antonio Spurs' 112-109 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers.

The Chicago Bulls overcame the Minnesota Timberwolves 87-80, the Philadelphia 76ers beat the Toronto Raptors 93-83 and the Denver Nuggets defeated the Golden State Warriors 107-101 in double overtime.