Remember when LeBron and his precious Miami Heat lost to the Boston Celtics on Tuesday night? Well there’s been an interesting twist of events, and his former team Cleveland was victorious over the same Boston team that spanked the pants off BronBron, D-Wade and ‘em last night:
For one night, losing LeBron didn’t hurt so bad. After nearly four months of emptiness, anger and worry, the Cleveland Cavaliers returned to the floor and realized they can still win. Maybe they’re going to be OK after all.
Playing their first game in seven years without LeBron James, the Cavaliers stunned the Boston Celtics 95-87 in their season opener Wednesday night, a win that gave heartbroken Cleveland fans reason to believe that life will be fine minus the two-time MVP. “This was for the city,” forward Antawn Jamison said. “It was for the fans to let them know the Cavs will survive and this is a place where you can still watch good basketball. And most of all, you can watch a team that wins.”
J.J. Hickson scored 21 points, Daniel Gibson added 16 — all in the second half — and the Cavaliers made several big, clutch plays in the closing minutes to hold off the Celtics, who defeated James and the Miami Heat on Tuesday night. Rajon Rondo scored 18, Paul Pierce 13, Ray Allen 12 and Kevin Garnett had 15 rebounds for Boston, which led by 11 points in the third quarter but shot only 6 of 16 and was outscored 27-14 in the fourth. “We took them a little bit too lightly,” said Shaquille O’Neal, who spent last season with Cleveland.
Gibson, who missed his first eight shots, made four free throws in the final 17.2 seconds for Cleveland, dealt a devastating blow in July when James announced he was leaving as a free agent. The loss rocked a city that hasn’t celebrated a pro sports championship since 1964 and triggered predictions the Cavaliers would slide back among the NBA’s bottom dwellers.
Not just yet.
“Guys in this locker room believe,” said Jamison, who joined the Cavs last season thinking he could win a title with James. “We’ve been listening to what people are predicting for us. We’re going to let our game do the talking. It’s probably going to take a month or so for people to realize, ‘Hey, this is a team that can win and compete for the playoffs.’”
Good for the Cavaliers! We know that LeBron “Didn’t Have Heart When It Mattered” James got them salty looks…Lawry’s.