It was a game of debuts between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Brooklyn Nets at Quicken Loans Arena on Wednesday night. Both teams had gone through changes in the offseason that are expected to help their franchises.
In the end, the usual suspects outshone the additions in the Cavs 98-94 victory.
Tristan Thompson led the Cavs in scoring with 18 points to go along with nine rebounds.
For Brooklyn, Brooke Lopez controlled the paint finishing the night with 21 points and five rebounds. Joe Johnson added 13 points and five assists.
Pierce did make an impact on his first debut for a team since his rookie season. The 36-year old, who is playing on just his second team of his professional career, finished with 17 points and four rebounds.
Of the Cavalier newcomers, Jack was the most successful. He finished the night with 12 points and three assists coming off the bench.
Bynum, who did not play in the preseason as he recovered from a knee injury,made his long-awaited debut for Cleveland. Playing just over seven and half minutes, the center finished with three points, three rebounds, and two blocked shots in his first action since May 21, 2012.
"It was kind of like riding a bike because I've been in the league for so long," Bynum said. "I felt really good and ran as fast as I ever have on the court."
"My timing is off an that's to be expected, but I feel like it's going to come back pretty quickly," he continued.
Four of the five Cavalier starters finished in double figures on the night.
To go along with Irving and Thompson, Dion Waiters added 11 points and three steals and Anderson Varejao - playing in his first game since being lost for the season early last year – had 11 points and eight rebounds. The other starter, Earl Clark, finished with nine points and eight rebounds.
C.J. Miles was also effective off the bench, scoring 10 points.
It came down to the end in the first game of the season for both clubs. Varejao made a 17-footer with 29 seconds remaining to give Cleveland the 93-91 lead. Pierce and Terry each missed shots, while Irving made his free throws to seal the win for the Cavaliers.
The Cavs next play Friday night as they travel to take on the Charlotte Bobcats.
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