Cavs down Blazers

Source:Agencies Published: 2018/1/3 22:43:39

Cleveland’s Thomas makes debut

Shabazz Napier (left) of the Portland Trail Blazers tries to stop Isaiah Thomas of the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday in Cleveland, Ohio. Photo: VCG

LeBron James dropped in 24 points and two-time All-Star Isaiah Thomas made his Cleveland debut as the Cavaliers ­defeated the Portland Trail Blazers 127-110 on Tuesday night.

The Cavaliers had five players in double figures, including Thomas who showed flashes of his offensive skill in a long-awaited first game with his fourth NBA team.

Thomas tallied 17 points in 19 minutes of play as he embarks on a soft ­return to NBA action following injuries to his hip and shoulder.

"It was great to see him get his first basket and go from there," James said of Thomas. "He is a spark and the jump we need on our team right now."

James also had seven assists and four steals while starters Kevin Love (19) and Jae Crowder (17) scored in double figures for the Cavaliers.

Thomas and Dwyane Wade came off the bench to score 17 and 15 points, respectively.

Thomas was traded by the Boston Celtics along with Crowder, Ante Zizic and two draft picks to Cleveland for ­Kyrie Irving in the off-season.

Thomas' last game was on May 19, Game 2 of the Eastern Conference ­finals against the Cavaliers. He played hurt through the first two rounds of the playoffs, then was furious that Boston ­traded him.

Even though the Cavaliers' next game is against the Celtics, Thomas ­already said he isn't keen on facing his old teammates just yet.

"I can wait until February," Thomas said when announcing his return. "I think we play them in February again, so I can wait and put on a show then."

Damian Lillard returned to the ­Blazers' lineup from injury and finished with 22 points. Lillard missed five games with a sore right hamstring.

Jusuf Nurkic scored a team-high 23 points and CJ McCollum chipped in 19 in the loss.

Elsewhere, LaMarcus Aldridge scored 29 points and Kawhi Leonard had a season-high 25 to lead the San ­Antonio Spurs to a win over the New York Knicks 100-91. The victory gave coach Gregg Popovich sole possession of fifth place on the NBA's coaching wins list.

Lou Williams scored 33 points to lead the Los Angeles Clippers to a ­victory over visiting Memphis. Williams connected on all 15 of his free-throw ­attempts as the Clippers won their fourth consecutive game and their sixth in the past seven.


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