Spurs spoil Durant’s Golden State debut
OAKLAND, California (AP): AN ANTONIO’S Kawhi Leonard scored a careerhigh 35 points as the Spurs emphatically spoiled Kevin Durant’s long-awaited Golden State debut on Tuesday night with a 129-100 rout that sent Warriors fans for the exits early on the team’s opening night.
Cleveland, who defeated the Warriors in last year’s NBA Finals, looked more assured in their opening game, sweeping past New York on a night the Cavaliers raised last season’s championship banner.
Durant had 27 points and 10 rebounds, but little looked in sync for MVP Stephen Curry and the reigning Western Conference champions in a forgettable first game — and quite a different one after the Warriors dominated at home and came out of the blocks last season with a record 24-0 start.
Leonard scored 31 points by the end of the third, while LaMarcus Aldridge added 26
Spoints and 14 rebounds for the Spurs. Curry, last season’s first unanimous MVP, scored 26 points, but was just three for 10 from three-point range.
Cleveland’s LeBron James had his 43rd career triple-double to power the Cavaliers past New York 117-88.
James scored 19 points and added 11 rebounds and 14 assists in front of a raucous home crowd that was on its feet from the pre-game ceremony until late in the game, celebrating the city’s first championship in 52 years.
Kyrie Irving scored 29 points, including 19 in the third quarter when Cleveland went on a 20-4 run that rapidly ended the Knicks’ hopes of an upset.
Carmelo Anthony led New York with 19 points.
Portland extended their run of winning home openers to 16 straight seasons as Damian Lillard scored 39 points to lead the Trail Blazers to a 113-104 victory against Utah.
Golden State Warriors’ Kevin Durant.