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Friday, Oct. 29, 2010

New-look Cavs win opener

CLEVELAND (AP) For one night, losing LeBron didn't hurt so bad.

News photo
In your face: Toronto forward Andrea Bargnani blocks a shot attempt by New York center Amare Stoudemire on Wednesday in Toronto. The Knicks beat the Raptors 98-93. AP PHOTO

After nearly four months of emptiness, anger and worry, the Cleveland Cavaliers returned to the floor and realized they can still win.

Maybe they're going to be OK after all.

Playing their first game in seven years without LeBron James, the Cavaliers stunned the Boston Celtics 95-87 in their season opener Wednesday night, a win that gave heartbroken Cleveland fans reason to believe that life will be fine minus the two-time MVP.

"This was for the city," forward Antawn Jamison said. "It was for the fans to let them know the Cavs will survive and this is a place where you can still watch good basketball. And most of all, you can watch a team that wins."

J.J. Hickson scored 21 points, Daniel Gibson added 16 — all in the second half — and the Cavaliers made several big, clutch plays in the closing minutes to hold off the Celtics, who defeated James and the Miami Heat on Tuesday night.

Rajon Rondo scored 18, Paul Pierce 13, Ray Allen 12 and Kevin Garnett had 15 rebounds for Boston, which led by 11 points in the third quarter but shot only 6 of 16 and was outscored 27-14 in the fourth.

"We took them a little bit too lightly," said Celtics center Shaquille O'Neal, who spent last season with Cleveland.

Heat 97, Sixers 87

In Philadelphia, Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh enjoyed their first win with Miami, after the Heat secured a win over the 76ers.

Wade scored a team-best 30 points.

Nets 101, Pistons 98

In Newark, N.J., Anthony Morrow scored a 3-pointer with just 26 seconds to play to give Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov a win in his first game as the Nets owner with a victory over Detroit.

Knicks 98, Raptors 93

In Toronto, Wilson Chandler scored 22 points, and Amare Stoudemire had 19 points and 10 rebounds as New York beat the Raptors.

Trail Blazers 98, Clippers 88

In Los Angeles, Brandon Roy scored 22 points and Portland spoiled the NBA debut of Blake Griffin.

Mavericks 101, Bobcats 86

In Dallas, Dirk Nowitzki had 28 points and 13 rebounds, Jason Kidd added 12 points and 18 assists as the Mavericks beat Charlotte.

Thunder 106, Bulls 95

In Oklahoma City, Kevin Durant scored 30 points, Russell Westbrook added 28 points and 10 rebounds and the Thunder beat Chicago.

Durant and Westbrook each powered down two-handed dunks during a late 11-0 surge that put the game away. Neither team had led by more than eight before Oklahoma City started pulling away in the final 3 minutes.

Hornets 95, Bucks 91

In New Orleans, Chris Paul had 17 points and 16 assists, and the Hornets gave Monty Williams a victory in his NBA head coaching debut over Milwaukee.

David West led all scorers with 22 points, while new starting shooting guard Marco Belinelli added 18 for New Orleans.

Hawks 119, Grizzlies 104

In Memphis, Joe Johnson scored 22 points and Zaza Pachulia provided a spark off the bench with 17 points and 11 rebounds, leading Atlanta to a victory over the Grizzlies.

Spurs 122, Pacers 109

In San Antonio, Tim Duncan had 23 points and 12 rebounds and the Spurs beat the Pacers.

Manu Ginobili scored 22 points for San Antonio, which blew an early double-digit lead and nearly their goal of starting strong in what could be the last season for their Big Three.

Kings 117, Timberwolves 116

In Minneapolis, Carl Landry had 22 points and 11 rebounds and Sacramento held off the Timberwolves.

Nuggets 110, Jazz 88

In Denver, Carmelo Anthony scored 23 points, Arron Afflalo added 22 and the Nuggets opened the season with a win over the Jazz in coach George Karl's return to the bench.

Warriors 131, Rockets 128

In Oakland, Monta Ellis matched his career high with 46 points, Stephen Curry added 25 points and 11 assists, and the Warriors won Keith Smart's coaching debut by beating Houston.

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