LeBron James struggled from the start in his first game with Cleveland in four years, and the New York Knicks ruined the megastar's emotional homecoming with a 95-90 victory over the Cavaliers on Thursday night.
James, who returned to the Cavaliers and his native Ohio this summer after winning two NBA titles in Miami, finished with 17 points on five-for-15 shooting. He also committed eight turnovers and never looked comfortable on a night when the entire city — and a star-studded crowd — celebrated his comeback.
Carmelo Anthony scored 25 points and buried a jumper with James in his face with 25 seconds left to give the Knicks a 92-87 lead.
Kyrie Irving scored 22 and Kevin Love added 19 points and 14 rebounds for the Cavaliers, who have some work to do before they can start thinking about any titles.
Iman Shumpert and Jason Smith had 12 points apiece for the Knicks, who were embarrassed at home Wednesday by Chicago.
James was greeted with a thunderous ovation before the game by Cleveland fans, who had been counting down the days until the opener since he announced his return in a touching essay on July 11.
This was more than a game for Cleveland. It was a homecoming, an event and a citywide block party rolled into one.
The Knicks wrecked it.
at Minnesota 97, Detroit 91: Thaddeus Young scored 19 points and hit a big three-pointer with 90 seconds to play to lift the Timberwolves to a victory over the Pistons. Nikola Pekovic had 17 points and 10 rebounds, and Ricky Rubio added 11 points, eight assists and seven boards for the Timberwolves in their home opener. Caron Butler scored 24 points and D.J. Augustin had 20 points and six assists for the Pistons, who have opened the season with two straight losses on the road under first-year Coach Stan Van Gundy.
Washington 105, at Orlando 98: John Wall had 30 points and 12 assists, and the Wizards held off a late surge to beat the Magic. Marcin Gortat added 20 points and 12 rebounds. All five starters scored in double figures as Washington earned its fifth straight victory over its division rival. Nik Vucevic led the Magic with 23 points and 12 rebounds. Orlando finished with 18 turnovers, matching its total from its season opener.