CLEVELAND – (Wire Service Report) – LeBron James celebrated the Cavaliers’ championship with 19 points, 14 assists and 11 rebounds for his 43rd career triple-double, and Cleveland opened defense of the franchise’s first title by smashing the new-look New York Knicks 117-88 in the season opener Tuesday night. Kyrie Irving scored 29 points and Kevin Love contributed 22 points and 12 rebounds for the Cavs, who capped an electrifying day with an emotional victory. Before the game, James wiped away tears and fiddled with his new ring that is stuffed with 216 diamonds — representing Cleveland’s 216 area code.
Carmelo Anthony scored 19 points, Derrick Rose added 17 points on 7-of-17 shooting in his Knicks debut and Kristaps Porzingis had 16 points and seven rebounds.
Spurs 129, Warriors 100
OAKLAND — Kawhi Leonard poured in a career-best 35 points, and LaMarcus Aldridge put together a 26-point, 14-rebound double-double as San Antonio stunned Golden State in Kevin Durant’s regular-season debut for the Warriors. Jonathon Simmons (20 points), Patty Mills (11) and Manu Ginobili (10) provided double-figure scoring off the bench, helping the Spurs use their own strength in numbers to easily beat the two-time Western Conference champs.
Durant hit 11 of his 18 shots en route to 27 points, and Stephen Curry totaled 26 for the Warriors, who won an NBA-record 73 games last season and didn’t take their first loss until Dec. 12 after a 24-game winning streak to open the year.
Trail Blazers 113, Jazz 104
PORTLAND — Damian Lillard scored 16 of his 39 points in the fourth quarter as Portland rallied for a victory over Utah in the regular-season opener for both teams.
Lillard also had nine rebounds and six assists, and backcourt mate CJ McCollum added 25 points for the Blazers, who outscored
Utah 14-2 over the final four minutes. Allen Crabbe had 18 points off the bench for Portland. Joe Johnson scored 29 points and Rodney Hood contributed 26 for the Jazz, who also got 12 points and 14 rebounds from Rudy Gobert.