Cavaliers open season with 102-99 win over Irving and the Celtics

LeBron James and Kevin Love were not about to let Kyrie Irving steal this one from them, try as he might.

Irving, playing at The Q for the first time in a jersey other than the Cavs, missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer and Cleveland beat the Boston Celtics 102-99 in the NBA’s season opener.

James was magnificent in his return to the court from a sprained left ankle, finishing with game highs in points (29) and rebounds (16) to go with nine assists.

James found Love for a 3-pointer with 46.3 left that proved to be the difference in a game that Cleveland once led by as many as 18 points and was marred by a horrific broken left ankle suffered by new Celtics star Gordon Hayward.

Love finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds.

Irving, yes, Irving, the man who hit the Game 7 winning 3-pointer two seasons ago for the Cavs, finished with 22 points and 10 assists on 8-of-17 shooting. He scored 12 in the fourth quarter. He’s wearing a Celtics jersey because the Cavs traded him at his request, getting in return Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and two draft picks.

Derrick Rose, playing in his first game as a Cav, finished with 14 points. Dwyane Wade, also making his Cleveland debut, struggled with eight points on 3-of-10 shooting and four turnovers.

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