LeBron James had his 43rd career triple-double, Kyrie Irving scored 29 points and the Cleveland Cavaliers, who raised their championship banner before the game, beat the New York Knicks, 117-88, on Tuesday night in the NBA season opener.
James had 19 points, 11 rebounds and 14 assists in front of a raucous home crowd that was on its feet from the pregame ceremony until late in the game, celebrating the city’s first championship in 52 years.
“It was great to have a moment like that,” James said. “It was difficult to focus on the game but we did a great job, especially in the second half.”
James got choked up while speaking to the crowd before the game. “There were so many emotions,” he said. “To see us win the Finals and tonight being that last exclamation point to receive your ring in front of your fans was a great moment.”
Irving scored 19 points in the third quarter, when Cleveland used a 20-4 run to take a 74-53 lead. Kevin Love scored 23 for the Cavaliers. Carmelo Anthony led New York with 19 points and Derrick Rose had 17.
San Antonio 129, at Golden State 100
Kawhi Leonard scored a career-high 35 points and the Spurs emphatically spoiled Kevin Durant’s long-awaited Warriors debut. Durant had 27 points and 10 rebounds, but little looked in sync for Stephen Curry and the reigning Western Conference champions in a forgettable first game — and quite a different one after the Warriors dominated at home and came out of the blocks last season with a record 24-0 start. Leonard scored 31 points by the end of the third quarter and LaMarcus Aldridge added 26 points and 14 rebounds. Curry, last season’s first unanimous MVP, scored 26 points but made only three of 10 three-point shots. Draymond Green had 18 points, 12 rebounds and six assists, while Klay Thompson was limited to 11 points on five-for-13 shooting.
at Portland 113, Utah 104
Damian Lillard scored 39 points and the Trail Blazers extended their winning streak in home openers to a league-record 16 straight games. CJ McCollum added 25 points for Portland, which trailed 83-77 at the start of the fourth quarter. Joe Johnson scored 29 points in his debut with the Jazz.