UNDATED (AP) — Dwight Howard made quite an impression in his Houston Rockets debut on Wednesday.

Howard had 17 points and tied a career high with 26 rebounds as the Rockets downed Charlotte 96-83. He delivered a pair of thunderous dunks during a 14-4 run that put Houston ahead by 14 with 3 ½ minutes left.

Howard inked a five-year, $88 million package with the Rockets after an unsuccessful season with the Los Angeles Lakers.

James Harden chipped in 21 points and Jeremy Lin had 16 for Houston.

The new-look Brooklyn Nets had a tough time against the rebuilding Cavaliers in Cleveland.

Anderson Varejao (VAR'-eh-zhow) hit the tiebreaking basket with 28 seconds left to push the Cavs past the Nets 98-94 in the season opener for both teams. Kyrie Irving assisted on the go-ahead basket before hitting four free throws in the closing seconds to ice the win.

Irving finished with 15 points, 9 assists and 7 rebounds to help Cleveland overcome 21 points from Nets center Brook Lopez.

Nets newcomers Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett combined for just nine baskets and 25 points.

Cavaliers big man Andrew Bynum had three points and three rebounds in 7 ½ minutes. Bynum was medically cleared to play just before game time after sitting out all of last season due to knee pain.

Elsewhere in the NBA:

— Spencer Hawes scored 24 points and hit the winning basket late in the fourth quarter to lead Philadelphia past Miami 114-110. Heat guard Dwyane (dwayn) Wade sat out to rest his sore knees.

— Kevin Durant poured in 45 points and Oklahoma City opened the season by defeating the Jazz 101-98 in Utah. Durant hit 22 free throws, including a pair with 6.4 seconds remaining.

— Golden State blew out the Los Angeles Lakers 125-94 as Klay Thompson scored a career-high 38 points on 15 of 19 shooting, including 5 of 7 from three-point range.David Lee added 25 points, eight rebounds and five assists to the rout.

— New York blew a 25-point lead before closing on a 10-2 run to beat Milwaukee 90-83. Carmelo Anthony finished with 19 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and hit consecutive baskets during the game-ending spurt.

— Toronto beat Boston 93-87 behind Rudy Gay's 19 points and eight rebounds. The Celtics played without forward Jared Sullinger, who was suspended by the team. The punishment came down two days after a judge dismissed domestic violence charges against him.

— Greg Monroe's 24 points and 16 rebounds led Detroit past Washington 113-102. Josh Smith and Will Bynum each had 19 points for the Pistons.

— Monta (MAHN'-tay) Ellis poured in 32 points in his Dallas debut and Dirk Nowitzki added 24 in a 118-109 win over Atlanta. The Mavericks hit seven three-pointers in the fourth quarter to pull away.

— The New Orleans Pelicans were losers in their first game under a new nickname, blowing a 16-point lead in a 95-90 setback against Indiana. Paul George scored 32 points and George Hill capped a 19-point performance with a huge three-pointer in the final minute.

— Tony Parker had 13 points and nine assists in San Antonio's impressive 101-94 triumph against Memphis. Kawhi (kah-WY') Leonard and Boris Diaw (DEE'-ow) each had 14 points to lead the Spurs.

— Kevin Love finished with 31 points, grabbed 17 rebounds and hit the game-tying 3-pointer with 10.2 seconds left to force overtime in Minnesota's 120-115 victory against Orlando. Ricky Rubio had 13 points, 11 assists and three steals for the Timberwolves.

— Jeff Hornacek (HOHR'-nah-sehk) was a winner in his coaching debut as Goran Dragic (GOHR'-ahn DRAH'-gihch) scored 26 points and Eric Bledsoe added 22 to lead Phoenix past Portland 104-91. Miles Plumlee scored 16 of his 18 points in the first half and grabbed 15 rebounds in his first NBA start.

— DeMarcus Cousins had 30 points and 14 rebounds in Sacramento's 90-88 win over Denver. Greivis (GREE-vihs) Vasquez added 17 points and Isaiah Thomas had 16 off the bench as the Kings won their first game after nearly moving to Seattle.

UNDATED (AP) — Four-time NBA scoring champion Allen Iverson formally retired on Wednesday, over three years after playing his final game for the Philadelphia 76ers. The 6-foot, 165-pound guard also played for Denver, Detroit and Memphis over a 14-year career that has him 19th on the career scoring list with 24,368 points.

Also in the NBA, New Orleans Pelicans forward Ryan Anderson has a chip fracture in a toe on his right foot and is expected to miss the next one to three weeks. The Pelicans say team doctors discovered the injury after Anderson experienced discomfort during recent practices.