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LeBron very un-LeBron in opening loss to Knicks on big homecoming night

The King stay the King though.

Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James  drives against New York Knicks' Carmelo Anthony.
Cleveland Cavaliers' LeBron James drives against New York Knicks' Carmelo Anthony.
Image: AP

SHORTLY AFTER SHOWERING, and maybe rinsing off a forgettable performance, LeBron James smiled and laughed as he dressed for a flight to Chicago.

“It was one game,” he said.

James moved on quickly.

It may take Cleveland a little longer.

This championship-deprived city, which had waited months to celebrate James’ return from Miami with a rip-roaring party, was in a state of shock following Cleveland’s 95-90 loss to the New York Knicks last night.

Given a hero’s welcome with a ground-shaking ovation, James flopped.

He missed 10 shots, committed eight turnovers and looked nothing like the four-time league MVP and transcendent player capable of carrying a franchise.

One game. One really bad game.

“I’m glad it’s over,” he said.

Following an emotional pregame, which included him reprising the signature “chalk toss” routine he made famous during his first stint with the Cavs, James could hardly do anything right. He missed wide-open shots, forced others and made uncharacteristic errors. During one possession, he thought Kyrie Irving was going one way and Cleveland’s All-Star guard went the other as James’ pass sailed into the seats.

“My turnovers, some of them were careless and some of them were chemistry,” said James, who scored 17 points in 43 minutes. “I was throwing passes where I was hoping where some of my teammates were and they were not there. Those things will come.”

Irving had 22 points. Kevin Love, the other third of Cleveland’s “Big 3,” added 19 points and 14 rebounds in his Cavs debut.

Source: watchnba201415/YouTube

Carmelo Anthony scored 25 points for New York. The Knicks rebounded to give rookie coach Derek Fisher his first win after being embarrassed by Chicago at home in their season opener.

James dismissed the notion he was trying too hard to make sure his homecoming ended in victory.

“I didn’t press,” he said. “I didn’t do much.”

The Cavs knew it would take time to develop chemistry. James along with first-year coach David Blatt had preached during the preseason that there would be tough times ahead.

They just didn’t say it would be after one game. Here’s five other things that emerged from a night that didn’t end the way Clevelanders planned:

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Associated Press

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