Jermaine O'Neal scored 19 points as he and the host Boston Celtics ended a dismal start to their season with a 96-85 win in their home opener over the Detroit Pistons on Friday night.

O'Neal, who played passively in totaling just eight points in the first three games, all losses, was aggressive throughout. He had 10 points in the first half, which ended with Boston on top 50-43. Then he scored seven in the third quarter when the Celtics outscored the Pistons 36-21 to take an 86-64 lead.

Ray Allen and Brandon Bass added 17 points apiece for Boston and Paul Pierce had 12 in his debut after being sidelined with a bruised right heel.

Greg Monroe had 22 points and nine rebounds, and Austin Daye scored 11 for Detroit, which fell to 0-3.

Wade, James lift Heat

In Minneapolis, Dwyane Wade hit a jumper from the wing, then scored on an inbounds pass from LeBron James with 4.6 seconds to play to lift the undefeated Miami Heat to a 103-101 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves


Playing on a sore foot, Wade finished with 19 points, while James had 34 points, 10 assists and 8 rebounds on his 27th birthday.

Elsewhere: Reserve center Ian Mahinmi scored a career-high 19 points, Dirk Nowitzki contributed 18, and the reigning NBA champion Dallas Mavericks rallied for their first victory of the season, 99-86, at home over the Toronto Raptors. . . . Brandon Jennings scored 15 of his 22 points in the second half to lead the Milwaukee Bucks to a 102-81 home victory over the winless Washington Wizards. . . . Zach Randolph scored 23 points, Marc Gasol added 20, and the Memphis Grizzlies earned their first victory of the season, beating the visiting Houston Rockets, 113-93. . . . Danny Granger scored nine of his 22 points in overtime to help the Indiana Pacers beat the Cleveland Cavaliers, 98-91, in Indianapolis. . . . Jeff Teague scored 22 points, Joe Johnson added 21 and the host Atlanta Hawks won their third straight game, beating the New Jersey Nets, 105-98.

Dwight Howard had 20 points and 24 rebounds, Ryan Anderson scored 23 points, and the Orlando Magic beat the Charlotte Bobcats, 100-79, for their third straight victory. . . . Hakim Warrick scored 18 points in a reserve role, and the Phoenix Suns won for the first time this season while handing the host New Orleans Hornets their first loss, 93-78.

Garnett a team owner

Boston Celtics star Kevin Garnett is about to join LeBron James as a team owner - in European soccer.

Italy's top-flight side Roma confirmed Friday that Garnett is about to become a limited shareholder in the American-owned club after accepting an offer from James Pallotta, one of the four Boston execs who closed a deal in August to become the first foreign majority owners of a Serie A club.

Pallotta also is a minority owner of the Celtics.

Earlier this year, James obtained a small stake in Liverpool from the Fenway Sports Group. The Garnett and James deals are linked because Roma president Thomas DiBenedetto also is a limited partner in the Fenway group, which owns the Boston Red Sox.

- Inquirer wire services