The atmosphere was amazing in Cleveland for LeBron’s return.
Kevin Love got the first basket for the Cavs as they went on an 8-0 run. All eyes were on LeBron and he let the moment get to him early on. He finished the first quarter with more turnovers than points. He was 1-5 from the field with three turnovers. Kevin Love had a good stat line in the first quarter, 12 points, seven rebounds and three assists.
The Knicks were still trying to get into their triangle sets but Carmelo Anthony was more aggressive. He quickly scored six points but took nine shots in the quarter.
The ball movement for the Knicks was much better in the second quarter. They had eight assists and outscored the Cavaliers 24-19. The Knicks bench scored 21 of those points. Shane Larkin had a good half scoring seven points and adding four steals.
LeBron continued to turn the ball over and the Cavs had 10 as a team in the first half. They settled for more jumpers and missed 10 of their last 12 shots. LeBron entered the half shooting 1-9. Kevin Love was the lone bright spot going into the half with 14 points and nine rebounds.
The Cavaliers defense was disappointing in the second half as the Knicks controlled the tempo and got any shot they wanted. The Knicks bench outscored the Cavs bench 41 to 12. Jason Smith scored 12 and J.R. Smith played a good game. He scored 11 points and added seven assists. Despite some foul trouble Carmelo scored 16 points in the second half, including the jumper over LeBron to seal the win for the Knicks. Melo finished with 25 points and six assists.
Both teams need time to grow as a team. The Cavaliers let the moment get to them and they were flat. There was some miscommunication between LeBron and Kyrie. Things will get better for the Cavs but tonight they were just off. LeBron was trying to do too much. He scored 17 points but he had 8 turnovers. Kevin Love finished with a double-double, 19 points and 14 rebounds. Kyrie Irving got it going in the second half and finished with 22 points.
Quincy Acy got the start over Amar’e Stoudemire; he grabbed 10 rebounds before fouling out. The Cavs head to Chicago for an early season matchup with the Bulls while the Knicks head to Charlotte to take on the Hornets on Sunday.