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Cavs win season opener

Sports Desk | 10/31/2013, 8:30 a.m.
Varejao's jumper gave the Cavs a 93-91 lead, and Irving, who finished with 15 points, 9 assists and 7 rebounds, ...

He checked in to a rousing ovation from Cleveland fans, many of whom wondered if they would ever see him play because of his well-chronicled knee issues. But the big man moved without any limitations and finished with three points, three rebounds, two assists and one block in eight minutes.

''It was kind of like riding a bike,'' he said. ''I don't think I've accomplished anything yet.''

The Nets believe they can make a title run this year, but it could take some time for their talented lineup to gel.

Deron Williams played just 22 minutes as he continues to recover from a sprained ankle, and Brooklyn missed him being on the floor in the final minutes.

''Obviously it hurts but we have to go back and look at the reason why we lost this game,'' Pierce said. ''Throughout the course of the season we have to understand it's always going to be about the little things. To be a championship team, you have to clean those things up.''

NOTES: Cavs rookie F Anthony Bennett, the No. 1 overall pick in this year's draft, missed all five shots from the field. He finished with two points and five rebounds in 15 minutes. .... While Kidd serves his suspension, assistant coach Joe Prunty is assuming head duties. ... Williams wasn't surprised by his limited minutes, but he did think he would play in the fourth. ''It's tough to get into a rhythm when you're limited,'' he said. ... As punishment for failing to bring donuts to a recent practice, Bennett and Cleveland's other rookies were forced to wear brightly colored outfits to the arena. Bennett had to wear a purple fedora and vest. ''You look like Cedric the Entertainer,'' Thompson told him. ... Nets F Andrei Kirilenko sat out with back spasms but could play in the home opener against Miami on Friday.