CLEVELAND » LeBron’s former team has already done something his new, super team in sunny Miami couldn’t: Beat Boston.
Playing its first game in seven years without LeBron James, the Cleveland Cavaliers stunned the Celtics 95-87 in their season opener last night, a win that at least for one night gave local fans reason to believe that life will be OK minus the two-time MVP.
J.J. Hickson scored 21 points, Daniel Gibson added 16 — all in the second half — and the Cavaliers made several big, clutch plays to hold off the Celtics, who defeated James and the Miami Heat on Tuesday night.
Rajon Rondo scored 18, Ray Allen 12 and Kevin Garnett had 15 rebounds for Boston, which led by 11 points in the third quarter.
Heat 97, 76ers 87
Dwyane Wade, LeBron James and Chris Bosh have their first win with Miami, and the Big Three got help from some big 3s in a victory.
Playing with purpose a night after an 88-80 loss in a hyped showdown with Boston, the three looked as if they still need some games to get used to playing with each other. Only Wade, with 30 points, looked particularly sharp against the Sixers. James scored 16 points and Bosh had 15.
Nets 101, Pistons 98
Anthony Morrow hit a go-ahead 3-pointer with 26 seconds to play and New Jersey gave Russian billionaire Mikhail Prokhorov a win in his first game as their owner.
Knicks 98, Raptors 93
Wilson Chandler scored 22 points, Amare Stoudemire had 19 points and 10 rebounds and the Knicks beat the Raptors.
Mavericks 101, Bobcats 86
Dirk Nowitzki had 28 points and 13 rebounds, Jason Kidd added 12 points and 18 assists, and the Mavericks beat the Bobcats.
Thunder 106, Bulls 95
Kevin Durant scored 30 points, Russell Westbrook added 28 points and 10 rebounds and the Thunder beat the new-look Bulls.
Hornets 95, Bucks 91
Chris Paul had 17 points and 16 assists, and the New Orleans Hornets gave Monty Williams a victory in his NBA head-coaching debut, over the Bucks.
Hawks 119, Grizzlies 104
Joe Johnson scored 22 points and Zaza Pachulia provided a spark off the bench with 17 points and 11 rebounds, leading the Hawks to a victory.
Spurs 122, Pacers 109
Tim Duncan had 23 points and 12 rebounds and Manu Ginobili added 22 for the Spurs, who blew an early double-digit lead. Tony Parker, starting the final year of his contract with the Spurs, had 20 points and nine assists.
Kings 117, Timberwolves 116
Carl Landry had 22 points and 11 rebounds and the Kings held off the Timberwolves.
Warriors 131, Rockets 128
Monta Ellis matched his career high with 46 points, Stephen Curry added 25 points and 11 assists, and the host Golden State Warriors won Keith Smart’s coaching debut.
Nuggets 110, Jazz 88
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.
Trail Blazers 98, Clippers 88
Brandon Roy scored 22 points and the Trail Blazers spoiled the NBA debut of Blake Griffin. Griffin had 20 points and 14 rebounds, a year after his rookie season was lost to a broken left kneecap in the preseason.