King reigns in Cleve­land

Su­per Team slumps in home opener

The Myanmar Times - - Sport -

LEBRON James led the Cleve­land Cava­liers in a sea­sonopen­ing rout of the New York Knicks on Oc­to­ber 25 as the vaunted Golden State War­riors su­per-team suf­fered a re­sound­ing first-night thrash­ing.

James notched a triple-dou­ble as Cleve­land trounced the new-look Knicks 117-88 on a night when the Cavs were for­mally pre­sented with their di­a­mond-en­crusted 2015-16 cham­pi­onship rings.

A fes­tive at­mos­phere inside the Quicken Loans Arena was height­ened by the fact that Cleve­land’s base­ball team, the In­di­ans, were host­ing – and beat­ing – the Chicago Cubs in the World Se­ries opener also on Oc­to­ber 25.

News of the In­di­ans’ open­ing runs against the Cubs was greeted with deaf­en­ing cheers and chants of “Let’s Go Tribe!” through­out the game.

James, who re­turned to the Cava­liers in 2014 on a mis­sion to lead his home­town team to NBA glory, ad­dressed the home crowd in the pre­match cer­e­monies.

“If you’re not from here, live here, play here, or get your­self to Cleve­land, then it makes no sense for you to live at this point,” James said. “Cleve­land against the world!” James, who fin­ished with 19 points, 11 re­bounds and 14 as­sists, later spoke of his pride at being able to cel­e­brate the Cavs’ crown with the city’s fans.

“It was a great mo­ment, to be able to re­live our ac­com­plish­ment from last year one more time, some­thing that’s al­ways go­ing to be with us. It was an un­be­liev­able at­mos­phere tonight,” he said.

“We want to keep our fans on cloud 20. If we can do that we’ve done our job.”

But while the Cavs re­flected on a solid night’s work, the Knicks were sent back to the draw­ing board. Hav­ing in­vested heav­ily in bring­ing 2011 NBA MVP Der­rick Rose and Chicago team­mate Joakim Noah to the club in the close sea­son, the Knicks are hop- ing to mount a se­ri­ous chal­lenge in the Eastern Con­fer­ence this sea­son.

Rose how­ever lamented the New York­ers’ lack of a mean streak after the blowout.

“Tonight left a bad taste in ev­ery­body’s mouth,” Rose said, say­ing the team needed to learn to foul tac­ti­cally.

“We’ve got to put peo­ple down. We’ve got to foul. Not put them down, but for sure we have to foul them in the open court to make sure [James] doesn’t get the crowd into the game.”

War­riors hum­bled In Oak­land, Golden State’s hopes of em­bark­ing on another record-break­ing start to the sea­son – fol­low­ing their 24-0 run last year – came to an abrupt end when they were dis­man­tled 129-100 by West­ern Con­fer­ence ri­vals San An­to­nio.

A night ex­pected to be dom­i­nated by Golden State’s new sign­ing Kevin Du­rant ended with the Spurs’ Kawhi Leonard steal­ing the show in a crush­ing rout of last year’s NBA Fi­nals run­ners-up.

Du­rant en­joyed a solid enough scor­ing de­but – weigh­ing in with 27 points – but the War­riors were run ragged by Leonard, who posted a ca­reer-high 35 points, and LaMar­cus Aldridge (26 points).

Leonard, 25, in­di­cated he is ready to step into the lead­er­ship vac­uum cre­ated by the re­tire­ment of Spurs leg­end Tim Dun­can ear­lier this year.

“Tim was a great bas­ket­ball player, led this team to five cham­pi­onships and I just want to do the same, to get close to that,” Leonard said.

“Just keep hav­ing a win­ning cul­ture and keep mov­ing for­ward from there.”

The loss was a chas­ten­ing de­feat for the War­riors and coach Steve Kerr after a close-sea­son dom­i­nated by talk of his team’s fear­some at­tack­ing arse­nal.

“I’m sure we’ll be mo­ti­vated for our next game,” Kerr said. “I think our guys were em­bar­rassed tonight. I know I was.”

War­riors star and reign­ing NBA MVP Stephen Curry de­scribed the loss as a “nice lit­tle slap in the face.”

Du­rant mean­while said the War­riors should not panic after only one game of the sea­son.

“We can’t over­re­act but we can’t let th­ese games pile up,” Du­rant said.

Photos: AFP

Kevin Du­rant looks on in frus­tra­tion as the Golden State War­riors strug­gle in their opener, los­ing to the San An­to­nio Spurs by 29 points on their home court.

LeBron James of the Cleve­land Cava­liers fin­ishes off a fast break with a dunk in the third quar­ter on Oc­to­ber 25 at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleve­land. He led the Cavs to a home-open­ing win over the New York Knicks.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Myanmar

© PressReader. All rights reserved.