New-look Cleveland Cavaliers spoil Boston's party

The Boston crowd came out to celebrate Paul Pierce yesterday morning (Singapore time) - but LeBron James and his new supporting cast had other ideas as the Cavaliers routed the Celtics 121-99.

James shook off a first-quarter leg injury to finish with 24 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds for the Cavaliers, who were one of the busiest teams at the NBA trading deadline.

Cleveland acquired four players and dealt away six others as they attempt to make their fourth straight NBA Finals.

"We got some players who are pretty smart and they picked it up like they had been here all year," said James, who played just 28 minutes.

Despite the home team's loss, the night belonged to Pierce and his family as they got to see tribute videos from Kobe Bryant and Magic Johnson, and his No.34 raised to the rafters of the Boston Garden arena. "It gave me chills, especially with LeBron out there," said Pierce, who watched from his sideline seat.

"I wanted to be out there."

Pierce retired at the end of last season. - AFP


Charlotte 103 Toronto 123, Atlanta 118 Detroit 115, Indiana 121 NY Knicks 113, Houston 104 Dallas 97, Minnesota 111 Sacramento 106, Oklahoma 110 Memphis 92, Portland 96 Utah 115