James dropped in 24 points and two-time all-star Isaiah Thomas made his
Cleveland debut as the Cavaliers defeated the Portland Trail Blazers
127-110 on Tuesday night.
The Cavaliers had five players in double figures including Thomas who showed flashes of his offensive skill in a long-awaited first game with his fourth National Basketball Association team. Thomas tallied 17 points in 19 minutes of play as he embarks on a soft return to NBA action following injuries to his hip and shoulder.
“It was great see him get his first basket and go from there,” James said of Thomas. “He is a spark and the jump we needed on our team right now.”
James also had seven assists and four steals while starters Kevin Love (19) and Jae Crowder (17) scored in double figures for the Cavaliers in the win.
Thomas and Dwyane Wade came off the bench to score 16 and 15 points respectively.
Thomas was traded by the Boston Celtics along with Crowder, Ante Zizic and two draft picks to Cleveland for Kyrie Irving in the offseason.
Thomas’ last game was May 19, game two of the Eastern Conference finals against the Cavs. He played hurt through the first two rounds of the playoffs, then was furious that Boston traded him. Cavaliers coach Tyronn Lue said earlier that Thomas would play restricted minutes on Tuesday.
Even though the Cavaliers’ next game is against the Celtics, Thomas already said he isn’t keen on facing his old teammates just yet.
“I can wait until February,” Thomas said when announcing his return. “I think we play them in February again, so I can wait and put on a show then.”
Damian Lillard returned to the Blazers lineup from injury and finished with 22 points. Lillard missed five games with a sore right hamstring. Jusuf Nurkic scored a team-high 23 points and CJ McCollum chipped in 19 in the loss.
Spurs 100, Knicks 91
Kawhi Leonard scored 25 points on 8-of-20 shooting and grabbed eight rebounds in 30 minutes to pace San Antonio to a win over visiting New York.
LaMarcus Aldridge finished with 19 points and five boards while Manu Ginobili scored 12 points and Pau Gasol had 11 and eight rebounds for the Spurs. Kristaps Porzingis was one of three Knicks with 13 points and also grabbed nine rebounds. Courtney Lee and Lance Thomas also scored 13, Enes Kanter had 12 and Jarrett Jack chipped in 12 for New York, which has lost five of six.
Suns 104, Hawks 103
Devin Booker scored 34 points, sinking five three throws in the final 12.3 seconds, and Phoenix scored 11 consecutive points late in the fourth quarter to steal a victory over visiting Atlanta.
Dennis Schroder’s driving layup with nine-tenths of a second remaining ended the Suns’ 11-0 run, but Phoenix successfully inbounded the ball to end the game.
TJ Warren scored 31 points on 15-of-21 shooting, and Chriss had 17 points and 11 rebounds for the Suns. Ersan Ilyasova had 21 points and Schroder and Kent Bazemore added 20 apiece for the Hawks.
Clippers 113, Grizzlies 105
Lou Williams scored 33 points to lead Los Angeles to a victory over visiting Memphis.
Williams connected on all 15 of his free-throw attempts as the Clippers won their fourth consecutive game and their sixth in the past seven.
Williams topped 30 points in four of the past six contests and is averaging 30.8 points during the stretch. Blake Griffin added 21 points and eight assists, and C.J. Williams scored 18 points for Los Angeles.
Tyreke Evans scored 18 points and Mario Chalmers added 15 for Memphis.
The Grizzlies shot just 36.6 percent from the field in the second half to finish at 48.7 percent.
Hornets 131, Kings 111
Nicolas Batum scored 21 points, and Dwight Howard had 20 as Charlotte rolled to a victory over Sacramento.
Jeremy Lamb and Johnny O’Bryant III each had 16 points, and Kemba Walker contributed 12 points and 10 assists for the Hornets.
Charlotte shot 57.3 percent from the field and coasted after building a 20-point halftime lead that grew to 23 late in the third quarter.
Randolph finished with 24 points and 10 rebounds, and Skal Labissiere had 17 points and 15 rebounds for Sacramento, which has lost three straight home games since beating the Cavaliers last Wednesday. The Kings have lost five of six.
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