Love, Irving Show No Jitters, LeBron Underwhelming in Cavs Home-Opener

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In what is probably the second most-anticipated homecoming game on the Cleveland schedule, after the Christmas Day game when the Cavs take on the Heat in Miami, the debut of Cleveland’s Big Three didn’t go to plan.

LeBron James’ Cleveland homecoming (and Kevin Love’s debut as a Cav) was spoiled by the New York Knicks last night in the home opener when Carmelo Anthony hit a baseline jumpshot with 25 seconds remaining to lead the away team to a 95-90 win over the favored Cavs.

Love and Kyrie Irving both put up stats that you would expect from the two young stars, it was the guest of honor that didn’t live up to the over-sized expectations– LeBron shot just 5-15 from the field (starting out 1-9), turning over the ball 8 times, and ended up with a worst plus/minus for the game at -13.

Still James insists he just had an off game. “I didn’t press,” Lebron said, dismissing that he was nervous. “I didn’t do much.”

To be fair, the Cavs’ bench didn’t give the Big Three much help. Shawn Marion, Mike Miller, Tristan Thompson and Matt Dellavedova added just 12 points on 5-12 shooting in reserve roles.

Irving led the Cavs with 22 points on 8-15 shooting and passing for a team-high 7 assists, while the newly-acquired Love added 19 points on 6-14 shooting and 14 rebounds.

Despite the headlines and craziness surrounding the game, it’s just one game out of eighty-two regular season matches. Obviously if the Cavs perform well this season, the loss will be a sidenote, an anomaly. “It was a special night,” James acknowledged. “I’m glad it was great, but I’m also glad it’s over.”

With the tension that was built up for the home-opener at Quicken Loans Arena has been released (for better or worse), now the Cavs can focus all their energy into developing a chemistry and regular season game #2.

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