CLEVELAND -- Kyrie Irving and fellow second-year pro Tristan Thompson picked up the slack after the Cavaliers squandered a late double-digit lead, as Cleveland pulled out a 94-84 victory over the Washington Wizards to open the NBA season.
Irving, the reigning Rookie of the Year, netted 29 points, while Thompson scored seven of his 12 in the final two minutes of a close game. Thompson also grabbed 10 rebounds for a frountcourt that earned a 54-39 advantage on the glass.
Anderson Varejao recorded career-highs of nine assists and 23 boards -- 12 offensive -- for the Cavs, who went 21-45 and finished in the basement of the Central Division last season.
The Wizards, playing without starters John Wall (knee) and Nene (foot), were led by Jordan Crawford's 11 points.
Washington finished with a 20-46 record last season.
The Sports Network