James returns, Cavaliers debut new sta ing lineup T
HE King has returned.
LeBron James made his preseason debut Tuesday after missing Cleveland’s first three games with a sprained left ankle. He scored 17 points, but also had eight turnovers in the 108-94 loss to the Chicago Bulls.
It was the first chance for James to play with close friend and former Miami Heat teammate Dwyane Wade as the Cavaliers showed off their new starting lineup. Cavs coach Tyronn Lue brought out his new starting group for the first time now that James is back. He was joined by Wade, Kevin Love and newcomers Derrick Rose and Jae Crowder. Lue announced the lineup, which includes three former MVPs on Monday. James and Rose have won regular-season MVPs and Wade was the 2006 finals MVP.
Rose finished with 13 points and Iman Shumpert added 12.
“Tonight, I was off. I could feel it,” James said. “It’s just my first action since the Finals and my timing was a little off and turnovers, I think, just trickled down to everybody. So, I made everyone’s timing off.”
The starting five was expectedly rusty with the group having spent little time together. Wade was just bought out by the Bulls on Sept 24. Crowder and Isaiah Thomas went to Cleveland as part of the Kyrie Irving trade on Aug 30. And Love was just recently informed that he’d be moving to center with the unit from power forward.
Love and Wade were a combined 2 for 19 Tuesday.
“I don’t think we’ll be the team we want to be in a week,” James said. “It’s going to be for the whole season. We’re going to have changes, we’re going to make changes, we’re going to become a better team as the games go on. So, the team opening night will not be the team that we know we can be.”
RAPTORS 116, PISTONS 94 The Raptors never trailed as newcomer CJ Miles scored 19 points off the bench, including a 5-for-8 effort from 3-point range.
Ish Smith led the Pistons with a game-high 22 points off the bench as the starting five struggled.
PISTONS: Langston Galloway scored 16 off the bench and Andre Drummond finished with 14 points and 11 points. Detroit’s starters shot just 13 for 39 (33.3 percent) from the floor.
RAPTORS: Jonas Valanciunas scored 18 and grabbed 11 rebounds in the victory. Serge Ibaka added 14 and DeMar DeRozan chipped in 13. PACERS 108, MACCABI HAIFA 89 Newly acquired Victor Oladipo did a little bit of everything for the Pacers as he scored 18, grabbed five rebounds, handed out four assists and had five steals.
Former Atlanta Hawk Josh Smith scored 16 and pulled down seven rebounds in the loss.
HAIFA: The NBA exhibition tour continued for Maccabi. Angel Rodriguez scored 15 and Oz Blayzer and Samardo Samuels added 14 apiece. Haifa actually outscored the Pacers 56-47 in the second and third quarters combined.
PACERS: Darren Collison scored 15 as Indiana navigates a world without Paul George. Bojan Bogdanovic scored 13 and Myles Turner and Domantas Sabonis each scored 12 in the win.
UP NEXT: The Pacers (3-1) open the regular season by hosting the Nets on Oct. 18. Maccabi Haifa (0-2) travels to face the Trail Blazers tomorrow.
Cleveland Cavaliers’ LeBron James (23) shoots past Chicago Bulls’ Justin Holiday (7) during the first half of an NBA preseason basketball game in Cleveland on Tuesday.