(The Sports Xchange) – Highlights from National Basketball Association games on Tuesday:
Cavaliers 102, Celtics 99
LeBron James outdueled his former teammate and NBA Finals partner Kyrie Irving in the Cleveland Cavaliers’ 102-99 win over the Boston Celtics in their season opener on Tuesday.
However, the bigger loss for Boston was new forward Gordon Hayward, who fractured his left ankle in the first period. The injury occurred when Hayward was bumped in the air by LeBron James and fell with his leg pinned under him.
Hayward, 27, who signed a four-year, $128 million contract in the offseason with the Celtics, immediately called for help with his foot and ankle dangling in the wrong direction.
James finished with 29 points, 16 rebounds and nine assists after missing most of the preseason with a left ankle sprain.
Irving, who requested a trade away from James and the Cavs in the offseason and was dealt to the Celtics, finished with 22 points and 10 assists in his return to Cleveland.
Rockets 122, Warriors 121
Luc Mbah a Moute ignited a rally with 12 fourth-quarter points, and P.J. Tucker scored the game’s final two on a pair of free throws with 44.1 seconds left, helping the Houston Rockets stun the Golden State Warriors 122-121 in the defending champion’s ring-ceremony opener.
Houston trailed by 11 entering the final period and were 114-107 after a Stephen Curry 3-pointer with 5:12 left before rallying to hand Golden State its second consecutive opening night loss at home.
The Rockets also beat Golden State in the teams’ first meeting last season, a double-overtime thriller, before the Warriors captured the season series by taking the final three matchups.
Eric Gordon had a three-point play and Tucker a 3-point shot during the late flurry, which was capped when two offensive rebounds gave the Rockets a third possession in the final minute, down 121-120.
Tucker was then fouled and dropped both free throws for the game’s final scoring.