York Knicks' Carmelo Anthony, right, fouls Cleveland
Cavaliers' LeBron James (23) during the fourth quarter
of an NBA basketball game Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014, in
Cleveland. The Knicks defeated the Cavaliers 95-90.
— Shortly after showering, and maybe rinsing off a
forgettable performance, LeBron James smiled and laughed as
he dressed for a flight to Chicago.
was one game," he said.
It may take
Cleveland a little longer.
championship-deprived city, which had waited months to
celebrate James' return from Miami with a rip-roaring party,
was in a state of shock following Cleveland's 95-90 loss to
the New York Knicks on Thursday night.
hero's welcome with a ground-shaking ovation, James flopped.
10 shots, committed eight turnovers and looked nothing like
the four-time league MVP and transcendent player capable of
carrying a franchise.
One really bad game.
glad it's over," he said.
Cavaliers' LeBron James gestures to the crowd in the
first quarter of an NBA basketball game against the
New York Knicks Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014, in Cleveland.
an emotional pregame, which included him reprising the
signature "chalk toss" routine he made famous
during his first stint with the Cavs, James could hardly do
anything right. He missed wide-open shots, forced others and
made uncharacteristic errors. During one possession, he
thought Kyrie Irving was going one way and Cleveland's
All-Star guard went the other as James' pass sailed into the
turnovers, some of them were careless and some of them were
chemistry," said James, who scored 17 points in 43
minutes. "I was throwing passes where I was hoping
where some of my teammates were and they were not there.
Those things will come."
22 points. Kevin Love, the other third of Cleveland's
"Big 3," added 19 points and 14 rebounds in his
Cavaliers' LeBron James tosses chalk in the air before
the start of an NBA basketball game against the New
York Knicks Thursday, Oct. 30, 2014, in Cleveland.
Anthony scored 25 points for New York. The Knicks rebounded
to give rookie coach Derek Fisher his first win after being
embarrassed by Chicago at home in their season opener.
dismissed the notion he was trying too hard to make sure his
homecoming ended in victory.
didn't press," he said. "I didn't do much."
knew it would take time to develop chemistry. James along
with first-year coach David Blatt had preached during the
preseason that there would be tough times ahead.
didn't say it would be after one game. Here's five other
things that emerged from a night that didn't end the way
Blatt has spent the past month installing an uptempo
offense, but the Cavs haven't embraced it.
far too many empty possessions and lacked any cohesion.
got static," the former international coach said
following his first NBA game. "We're really good when
we move the ball. When we play without motion and without
ball energy, that's exactly what will happen."
Cleveland's bench was outscored 41-12. Blatt said he should
have given reserves Shawn Marion (10 minutes) and Mike
Miller (3 minutes) more playing time.
The Cavs don't have any time to feel sorry for themselves as
they'll take on the Bulls, who are expected to challenge
Cleveland for Eastern Conference supremacy.
is what is great about this league," James said.
"You can play as a bad as I did tonight and bounce
KNICKS: Talk about crashing the party.
wasn't intimidated by the electric atmosphere and the Knicks
made several big shots in the second half to spoil
Cleveland's big night. Iman Shumpert and Jason Smith scored
12 apiece and J.R. Smith added 11 for the Knicks, who led by
nine with 3 minutes left and held off Cleveland's rally.
was a great win for us," said Anthony, who made a
crucial jumper over James with 25.9 seconds left. "It
tested us mentally to see how we were going to bounce back
from last night. We did a great job of putting that behind
us and focusing."
The Cavs are believed to be close to finalizing contract
extensions for centers Anderson Varejao and Tristan
Thompson. Both players are the final years of their deals.
There's a midnight Friday deadline for the Cavs to get
something done with Thompson, a 2011 first-round pick.
Varejao has played his entire career in Cleveland and is
close to James.
James' homecoming brought out some big names, including teen
heartthrob Justin Bieber, football Hall of Famer Michael
Strahan, film director and Knicks super fan Spike Lee,
Browns rookie quarterback Johnny Manziel and R&B artist
Usher, who sang the national anthem and was accompanied in
the final verses by the Cleveland crowd.