Special to ESPN.com
IRVING IMPROVES IN SOPHOMORE DEBUT
From Elias: Kyrie Irving, the top pick in last year's draft, scored 29 points in the Cavaliers' opening-night win. Irving scored just six points in his NBA debut last December. Only one other #1 draft pick in the last 40 years has increased his point total by 20+ from his rookie debut to his first game as a sophomore. Shaquille O'Neal scored 12 points in his first NBA game in 1992, and 42 in his first game of the 1993-94 season.
VAREJAO BIG ON THE BOARDS
From Elias: Anderson Varejao grabbed 23 rebounds in the Cavaliers' 94-84 home win over the Wizards. That was the highest rebound total by a player in his team's first game of the season since Sidney Wicks of the San Diego Clippers pulled down 23 boards against the Rockets in 1980. And Varejao's 12 offensive rebounds tied for the third-most on opening day since the NBA started recording offensive boards in 1973. The Nets' Jayson Williams recorded 17 offensive rebounds against the Pacers in 1997, and the 76ers' George McGinnis grabbed 13 against the Pistons in 1977.
MAVS WIN WITHOUT No. 41
From Elias: The Mavericks, playing without an injured Dirk Nowitzki, won 99-91 on opening night at STAPLES Center. The Mavs hadn't beaten the Lakers without Nowitzki in the lineup since April 5, 1995 at Reunion Arena, almost four years before the German star's NBA debut. And Dallas hadn't beaten the Lakers in a road game without Dirk since December 12, 1990 at the Great Western Forum.
JAMES DOMINATES IN LIMITED PT
From Elias: Cramps limited LeBron James to 28 minutes, 52 seconds on the floor of the Heat's opening-day win over the Celtics. But James still managed to score 26 points and grab 10 rebounds against Boston. It was the 114th time that the King recorded at least 25 points and 10 rebounds in a regular-season game, but it was the first in which he played less than 30 minutes.
ALLEN FITS RIGHTS IN WITH CHAMPS
From Elias: Ray Allen came off the bench to score 19 points against his former team in the Heat's 120-107 home win over the Celtics. The last newcomer to score that many points in a season opener for the defending NBA champions was Sidney Wicks, who scored 21 for the Celtics against the Pacers in 1976, after playing for the Trail Blazers the previous season.
WRIGHT PERFECT IN FIRST DALLAS START
From Elias: Brandan Wright, starting his first game for the Mavericks, made all five of his field-goal attempts, scoring 14 points in Dallas' 99-91 win over the Lakers. The last player to go 5-for-5 or better from the field in his first start for any team was LaMarcus Aldridge, who also made five field goals for the Trail Blazers at Boston in November 2006.