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(Through Saturday's games; preseason ranking in parentheses)
1. San Antonio (1): Manu Ginobili is averaging 18.7 points and 6.0 assists off the bench as the defending champion Spurs roared to a 3-0 start.
2. Houston (2): Mike James, Luis Scola and Bonzi Wells give the Rockets a talented bench that has made a difference in their 3-0 start.
3. Boston (6): Celtics unveiled a painted Red Auerbach autograph on their court before the season-opening win against Washington on Friday and renamed the floor "The Red Auerbach Parquet."
4. Denver (14): Allen Iverson, splitting time between point guard and shooting guard, averaged 24.5 points and 11.0 assists for the 2-0 Nuggets.
5. Detroit (7): Tayshaun Prince picked up the scoring slack with Richard Hamilton out, averaging 25.5 points and shooting as the Pistons started 2-0.
6. Toronto (10): Raptors set a franchise record for margin of victory in a road game with a 106-69 win against division rival New Jersey.
7. New Orleans (17): Hornets are healthy and clicking with Peja Stojakovic going 8-for-17 from three-point range through the first two games, both wins.
8. Indiana (25): New coach Jim O'Brien is letting them run, and they are off to a 3-0 start, averaging 109 points a game.
9. Dallas (3): In his first NBA start, in place of Devin Harris (bruised thigh), point guard Jose Berea had 25 points on 9-for-11 shooting in Saturday's win against Sacramento.
10. Utah (9): Jazz eliminated Golden State from the playoffs last season and has already beaten the Warriors twice this season -- and are averaging 125 points vs. Golden State in those two games.
Court Coverage: Hawks start off season flying high
By David DuPree, USA TODAY
Team of the week
Atlanta Hawks — After ending the preseason with a league-best 7-1 record, the Hawks showed that success might carry over to the regular season. With a sellout crowd greeting them — only the 39th time they have sold out Phillips Arena since they moved into it in 1999 — the Hawks defeated the Dallas Mavericks on Friday, 101-94. It also marked the first time they opened the season with a win since the 1998-99 campaign which is, coincidently, the last time they made the playoffs.
"A lot of teams didn't take the preseason seriously, but we did," said guard Joe Johnson, who had 28 points, seven rebounds and four assists. "We won as a team then, and we won (Friday) as a team against one of the best teams in the league."
Tracy McGrady, Houston: Averaged 32.3 points a game in leading the Rockets (3-0) to wins against the Los Angeles Lakers and Utah Jazz on the road and the Portland Trail Blazers at home.
Danny Granger, Indiana: Scored at least 20 points in each of his first three games, averaging 22.7 points and 8.7 rebounds as Pacers roared to a 3-0 start.
Thrills, spills and chills
Sonics serve notice: Seattle SuperSonics owner Clay Bennett on Friday filed paperwork to relocate the team to Oklahoma City, possibly as early as next season. The Sonics, stymied in an attempt to get public financing for a new arena, are embroiled in a federal court case to try to get out of its occupancy agreement at Key Arena which doesn't expire until September 2010. An NBA spokesman confirmed that the matter has been referred to the NBA owners' relocation committee. "Today we notified Commissioner (David) Stern that we intend to relocate the Sonics to Oklahoma City if we succeed in the pending litigation with the city, or are able to negotiate an early lease termination, or at the end of the lease term," Bennett said in a statement. He also owns the Seattle Storm of the WNBA, but said a decision hasn't been made regarding that team's future location.
Kidd's play: Jason Kidd of the New Jersey Nets recorded the first triple-double of the season Saturday with 16 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists in a 93-88 win against the Philadelphia 76ers. Kidd now has 88 career triple-doubles, third most in NBA history behind Oscar Robertson's 181 and Magic Johnson's 138.
Texas showdown: The Houston Rockets, winners of their first three games, all against out of state rivals, face the Mavericks tonight at Dallas, and then host the San Antonio Spurs at home Tuesday.
Bucks end streak: The Milwaukee Bucks ended a 15-game losing streak to Central Division opponents dating back to last season with a 78-72 win against Chicago on Saturday, handing the winless Bulls their third consecutive loss in the first week of the season.
Wade watch: Miami's Dwyane Wade has been cleared by doctors to resume full workouts and to begin playing with the Heat as soon as he feels ready. Wade, however, isn't sure when that will be. He has spent the last six months recovering from shoulder and knee surgeries.
Boston's Kevin Garnett, in his first game as a Celtic, became the first Boston player to have a 20-20 game since Sidney Wicks had 21 points and 22 rebounds in 1976 against Indiana. Garnett's line Friday in the 103-83 victory against the Washington Wizards:
Min FG M-A 3FG M-A FT M-A Reb Ast Stl Blk Pts.
38 9-17 0-0 4-4 20 5 3 3 22
This week's big game
Dallas at Golden State: The eighth-seeded Warriors stunned the top-seeded Mavericks in the first round of the playoffs last season after beating them in all three regular season meetings, as well. Dallas is looking to break that hex Thursday at Oakland (10:30 ET, TNT).
This week's best matchups
Carmelo Anthony vs. Paul Pierce: Two of the league's most prolific scorers square off Wednesday at Boston when the Celtics host Anthony and the Denver Nugget.
Amare Stoudemire vs. Dwight Howard: The battle will be in the middle as these two young centers and USA Basketball teammates, go at each other Saturday at Orlando.