Irving and LeBron fire as Cavs celebrate
BASKETBALL: It was a day of celebration as the Cleveland Cavailers began the defence of their NBA title in fine style with a 117-88 win over the New York Knicks in Cleveland.
After being presented with their championship rings and pennant before the game, the Cavaliers were too good for the visitors.
Australian-born Kyrie Irving scored 19 of his 29 points in a decisive third quarter to get the season off to the perfect start.
LeBron James had a triple-double with 19 points, 14 assists and 11 rebounds for the Cavaliers.
It was a mixed opening night for Australian stars. Patty Mills scored 11 points as the San Antonio Spurs upset last year's runners-up the Golden State Warriors in San Francisco 129-100.
Dante Exum scored five points for the Utah Jazz in eight minutes on the court in its opening day 113-104 loss to the Trailblazers in Portland, while teammate and fellow Aussie Joe Ingles hit two in 14 minutes of game time.