LeBron’s triple-double leads Cavs past Pelicans

LeBron James desperately wanted to give back to Cleveland fans after he played poorly in his emotion-laced home opener. On Monday night, he delivered a belated gift.

James recorded a triple-double with 32 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists, Kyrie Irving scored 27 of his 32 in the second half and Cleveland’s “Big 3” dominated in a 118-111 win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Monday night.

Kevin Love made six 3-pointers and added 22 points for the Cavs, who were back at Quicken Loans Arena for the first time since Oct. 30, when Cleveland welcomed James home after four years in Miami. He failed to play up to the monumental event, going 5 of 15 and committing eight turnovers in a stunning loss to the New York Knicks.

Anthony Davis scored 27 with 14 rebounds for the Pelicans, who beat defending NBA champion San Antonio on Saturday night and gave the Cavaliers all they could handle. Ryan Anderson added 32 points – 23 in the first half for New Orleans.

Rose returns, helps Bulls beat Pistons 102-91nba-logo

Derrick Rose had 24 points and seven assists in his return to the lineup, and the balanced Chicago Bulls beat the Detroit Pistons 102-91 on Monday night.

Rose went 9 for 20 from the field in a season-high 32 minutes after being sidelined by sprained ankles. The 2011 NBA MVP had missed four of the previous five games after he was injured in a 114-108 overtime loss to Cleveland on Oct. 31.

Rose departed before the media was allowed in the locker room, leaving his teammates to discuss his best performance of the young season.

Pau Gasol had 17 points and 15 rebounds for Chicago, and Joakim Noah finished with 13 points, 14 boards and six assists. The Bulls outrebounded the Pistons 49-46 after they had lost the battle on the glass in the previous six games, rankling the hard-nosed Thibodeau.

Josh Smith had 19 points and 11 rebounds for Detroit, which was coming off a 97-96 home loss to Utah on Sunday. Greg Monroe had 16 points and 10 boards, and reserve D.J. Augustin scored 16.

Leonard scores 26, Spurs rally past Clippers 89-85

Last season’s NBA Finals MVP Kawhi Leonard tied his career high with 26 points despite playing with only one good eye, and the Spurs closed with a rush to beat the Los Angeles Clippers 89-85 Monday.

Leonard had been away from his teammates for a three-week stretch because of conjunctivitis, a highly contagious infection that has affected his right eye. Still, he pulled down 10 rebounds and gave the defending champions their first lead with 1:44 left.

Tim Duncan added 18 points and 11 rebounds, and Tony Parker scored nine of his 13 in the fourth quarter for the Spurs, who snapped a two-game skid while earning their first road win.

San Antonio finished the game on a 14-3 run, giving Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Parker their 500th career victory together. They are second among trios in NBA history to Larry Bird, Kevin McHale and Robert Parish, who won 540 games with the Boston Celtics.

Results: San Antonio Spurs 89 LA Clippers 85; Detroit Pistons 91 Chicago Bulls 102; Atlanta Hawks 91 New York Knicks 85; Utah Jazz 86 Indiana Pacers 97; New Orlean Pelicans 111 Cleveland Cavaliers 118

Vishnu Ravi Shankar
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