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LeBron James sends message in their title defense with triple-double; Cavs beat Knicks, 117-88

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The Cleveland Cavaliers got their rings on Tuesday night and proceeded to beat up the visiting new-look New York Knicks via a blowout, 117-88. LeBron James led the defending champions with his first triple-double in the first game of the season with 19 points, 11 rebounds and 14 assists.

The Cavaliers started off fast with a 28-18 lead after the first quarter. But the Knicks battled back and cut it down to 48-45 at halftime. Cleveland hit their shots early in the third quarter and got back the comfortable double-digit lead to cruise to the blowout victory.

Derrick Rose, who crowned the Knicks as a “Super Team” in the offseason, had 17 points but shot just 7-of-17 from the field. Carmelo Anthony scored 18 points but also struggled from the field at 8-of-18. Last year’s rookie sensation Kristaps Porzingis had 16 points and 7 rebounds but no other Knicks scored in double-figures.

For the Cavaliers, they got big contributions from their “Big 3”. Kevin Love added a double-double of 23 points and 12 rebounds while Kyrie Irving top-scored with 29. Veteran Richard Jefferson, who had thoughts of retiring after winning the championship last June, added 13 points off the bench.

This was the first win for the Cavaliers since coming back from the 3-1 disadvantage against the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals. Cleveland wants to show this season that the title was not a fluke and wants to defend their championship.

The Knicks face the Memphis Grizzlies at home in their next game while the Cavaliers take on East rivals Toronto Raptors.

Photo Courtesy: Keith Allison/ Flickr

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