The Los Angeles Lakers, playing their first game since the dismissal of head coach Mike Brown, trounced the Golden State Warriors 101-77, while the New York Knicks and Miami Heat continued their winning ways.
Kobe Bryant led the way for the Lakers Friday night at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, scoring 27 points, while power forward Pau Gasol pitched in with 14 points and 16 rebounds, giving interim coach Bernie Bickerstaff a win in his first game.
During the game, the fans made it clear they want Phil Jackson, who guided the franchise to five titles between 2000 and 2010, back as head coach.
Lakers management is currently searching for a permanent replacement for Brown - who was fired on Friday after the star-studded team stumbled to a 1-4 start - and is considering Jackson, 67, for the job, among other candidates.
In other action Friday night at Madison Square Garden, Carmelo Anthony scored 31 points to lead the undefeated Knicks to a 104-94 victory over the Dallas Mavericks, who are still without injured star Dirk Nowitzki.
The Knicks ran their record to 4-0, their best start to an NBA season since beginning their 1993-94 campaign 7-0.
Elsewhere, the Miami Heat shook off a sluggish start to defeat the Atlanta Hawks 95-89, with LeBron James leading the way with 21 points, including a basket with 13.6 seconds to go to seal the victory.
James came close to a triple-double, also grabbing 11 rebounds and dishing out nine assists, as the defending NBA champions improved their record to 5-1.
The Heat won on the road despite the absence of star guard Dwyane Wade, who missed the game with a cold.
In other action Friday night, the Milwaukee Bucks topped the Washington Wizards 101-91, the Brooklyn Nets demolished the Orlando Magic 107-68, the Philadelphia 76ers pulled out a 106-100 victory over the Boston Celtics and the New Orleans Hornets defeated the Charlotte Bobcats 107-99.
The Memphis Grizzlies got a 93-85 win over the Houston Rockets, the Minnesota Timberwolves edged the Indiana Pacers 96-94, the Oklahoma City Thunder topped the still-winless Detroit Pistons 105-94 and the Phoenix Suns eked out a 107-105 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The San Antonio Spurs pulled away in the fourth quarter to defeat the Sacramento Kings 97-86 and the Denver Nuggets trounced the Utah Jazz 104-84. EFE