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  Classy Cavaliers

Classy Cavaliers

Published : Oct 27, 2016, 2:38 am IST
Updated : Oct 27, 2016, 2:38 am IST

DeAndre Liggins of the Cleveland Cavaliers drives to the basket past Kyle O’Quinn of the New York Knicks in their NBA match on Tuesday. (Photo: AFP)

DeAndre Liggins of the Cleveland Cavaliers drives to the basket past Kyle O’Quinn of the New York Knicks in their NBA match on Tuesday. (Photo: AFP)

The King shone as did the prince, as defending champions Cleveland Cavaliers dismantled New York Knicks 117-88 in the NBA season opener here on Tuesday. LeBron James bagged a triple double and point guard Kyrie Irving led the scoring with 29 points, 19 of which came in the third quarter.

For the visitors, Carmelo Anthony had 19 points and debutant Derrick Rose 17. Across the road, Cleveland Indians crushed Chicago Cubs 6-0 in Game One of the baseball World Series to cap a perfect day for the host city.

You will keep hearing a lot about Kyrie, easily one of the potent point guards in NBA today. He is an MVP in the making and, at 24, has his best years ahead of him. Whatever Irving does on the court has a touch of class. For outsiders, he lives in the shadow of James but Clevelanders know the guard’s value as they made their appreciation of him quite obvious on many occasions.

The opening day razzmatazz that involved the ring ceremony and banner raising meant a long evening for the hosts but there was no sign of lethargy in their play. After declaring yet again that the title was for Cleveland in a short speech, James showed why he is much loved in this city with a dazzling show on the court. The forward stood out with his razor-sharp assists, although he did entertain the crowd with his spectacular scoring style.

With Joakim Noah, son of former French Open champion Yannick Noah, pulling down rebounds efficiently, the Knicks started well. Anthony kept the Cavs under pressure with his accurate shooting but the hosts’ class came to the fore soon. Rose, who became NBA’s youngest MVP in 2011 at the age of 22, wasn’t able to dictate the Knicks’ play as Irving would at the other end after the break.

Cleveland played the final quarter almost with their reserve players as they enjoyed an 82-64 lead at the end of the third. The crowd loved the fun games, music, dance, endless clips of the Cavs’ triumphant season and video updates of the baseball match kept them engaged.

Location: United States, Ohio, Cleveland