LeBron James scored 34 points in a rare start at point guard and the Cleveland Cavaliers awakened after a sluggish first half and beat the Chicago Bulls 119-112 on Tuesday night.
James had not been listed as a guard since 2012, but with Derrick Rose missing a second straight game with a sprained ankle, coach Tyronn Lue tried another new lineup. James added 13 assists, including a no-look, behind-the-back dish to Jae Crowder for a three-pointer during a 15-3 spurt in the third quarter.
“Ever since I was a kid I’ve always learned every position on the floor,” James said. “The point guard, shooting guard, small forward, power forward and center. And know all the plays, what they’re doing and reads. Coach slides me to the 1, I know every set. If he slides me to the 5, I know the 5. I know the 4. I know the 3. I know the 2.”
Kevin Love had 20 points and 12 rebounds, and Dwyane Wade, who asked Lue to take him out of the starting lineup, came off the bench and added 11 points.
Justin Holiday scored 25 and rookie Lauri Markkanen 19 for Chicago, which made a season-high 17 three-pointers. The 7-foot Markkanen became the first player in NBA history to make 10 three-pointers in his first three career games. Former Cavs point guard Kay Felder scored 13 points in 15 minutes.
James played in his 771st regular-season game, matching center Zydrunas Ilgauskas for the most in franchise history.
at Orlando 125, Brooklyn 121: Aaron Gordon scored a career-high 41 points, including the go-ahead three-pointer with 35 seconds remaining, and grabbed 12 rebounds to rally the Magic. Evan Fournier added 28 points. D’Angelo Russell scored 27 points for the Nets, while DeMarre Carroll had 19 and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson 18.
at Boston 110, New York 89: Jaylen Brown scored 23 points on his 21st birthday, Jayson Tatum added 22 and Kyrie Irving added 20 points and seven assists. Al Horford had 13 points and 13 rebounds. Enes Kanter had 16 points and 19 rebounds for the winless Knicks.
Indiana 130, at Minnesota 107: Victor Oladipo scored 28 points and Cory Joseph added 21 for the Pacers, who shot 67 percent. Darren Collison had 15 points and 16 assists, Bojan Bogdanovic scored 19 points and Domantas Sabonis had 15 points and 11 rebounds. Karl-Anthony Towns had 28 points for the Timberwolves, who were missing Jimmy Butler (illness).
at Portland 103, New Orleans 93: CJ McCollum scored 23 points and the Trail Blazers extended their NBA-record winning streak in home openers to 17 games. Damian Lillard and Evan Turner each added 13 points for Portland, which is off to a 3-1 start for the first time since the 2011-12 season. DeMarcus Cousins had 39 points and 13 rebounds for his fourth consecutive double-double to start the season.