Only two National Basketball Association games were on the schedule for New Year's Day, but both featured a return to an earlier era. The popular leather basketball bounced back to NBA courts on January first after the league's attempt to use a new synthetic ball sparked a player uproar.

Kevin Garnett of the Minnesota Timberwolves apparently liked the change. He broke out of a scoring slump Monday with 32 points and 14 rebounds as the Minnesota Timberwolves rallied to beat the host Charlotte Bobcats, 102-96.

Garnett was one of the most vocal critics of the NBA's decision to go with the new microfiber composite ball at the start of the season.

In a later game, the Boston Celtics got by the host Portland Trail Blazers in a contest where neither team shot the leather ball well. Tony Allen led the Celtics with 22 points and eight rebounds, as Boston ended a six-game losing streak by defeating Portland, 89-81.

Some information for this report provided by AP and AFP.