LeBron leads revamped Cavaliers lineup over Bulls
LeBron James scored 34 points and passed out 13 assists to spark a revamped Cleveland Cavaliers lineup to a 119-112 NBA victory over visiting Chicago on Tuesday.
Four-time NBA Most Valuable Player James, whose 13-of-20 shooting included four 3-point baskets, was shifted from forward to point guard for the first time in five seasons as Cavs coach Tyronn Lue juggled his lineup in moving guard Dwyane Wade to a reserve role.
“I’m looking for my guys a little bit more starting at the point, especially in transition. I’m being more of a precise, precision passer and I’m not kind of full speed ahead in transition,” James said.
“I’m kind of looking at what’s going on and getting my guys the ball, but for me, I just try to stay in attack mode when need be and, if I see the hot hand, start going for my guys and getting them the ball.”
While they struggled early, particularly defensively, the Cavaliers (3-1) came together to snap a five-game losing streak in meetings with the Bulls (0-3).
Wade, a former James teammate on two NBA championship teams in Miami who joined the Cavs after playing in Chicago last season, was benched at his own request after struggling as a starter.
J.R. Smith moved back into the starting backcourt with James while the frontline saw Kevin Love moved from center to forward with Jae Crowder and Tristan Thompson took over in the middle.
The lineup move came in part because the Cavs are without Derrick Rose due to a sprained left ankle.
Love added 20 points and 12 rebounds for Cleveland while Wade scored 11 off the bench in only his 12th game as a reserve in 919 games over 15 NBA seasons.
Justin Holiday led the Bulls with 25 points while 20-year-old Finnish rookie forward Lauri Markkanen scored 19 and became the first rookie in NBA history with 10 3-point baskets in his first three games.
Gordon’s 41 leads Magic win
Aaron Gordon scored a career-high 41 points and sank the go-ahead 3-pointer with 35 seconds remaining to lead the host Orlando Magic to a 125-121 victory over Brooklyn. Evan Fournier scored 28 points, 12 of them in the game’s last 5:22, and Gordon also contributed 12 rebounds. D’Angelo Russell led the Nets (2-2) with 27 points.
C.J. McCollum scored 23 points, four of them in a game-ending 9-0 run, to power the Portland Trail Blazers over New Orleans 103-93. Portland stretched the NBA’s record longest win streak in home openers to 17, having last lost one to the Los Angeles Lakers in 2000. DeMarcus Cousins scored 39 points in a losing cause.
Jaylen Brown scored 23 points and rookie Jayson Tatum added 22 to power the Boston Celtics over the visiting New York Knicks 110-89. Kyrie Irving had 20 points and seven assists while Al Horford added 13 points and 13 rebounds as the Celtics improved to 2-2.
Turkey’s Enes Kanter led the Knicks (0-3) with 16 points and 19 rebounds while Latvian giant Kristops Porzingis, who missed 11 of his first 12 shots, managed only 12 points.
Victor Oladipo scored 28 points while Cory Joseph added 21 off the bench to power the Indiana Pacers over host Minnesota 130-107 while Blake Griffin scored 22 points to lead the host Los Angeles Clippers over Utah 102-84.