CLEVELAND — Isaiah Thomas showed flashes of his All-Star form in his long-awaited Cleveland debut as the Cavaliers snapped a three-game losing streak with a 127-110 win over the Trail Blazers on Tuesday night.
Thomas scored 17 in 19 minutes in his first game in seven months, an impressive return to action for the dynamic point guard. Thomas added three 3-pointers and three assists before leaving with 8:10 left and the Cavs up by 12.
LeBron James scored 24, Kevin Love had 19 and Jae Crowder added 15 for the Cavs, who were coming off losses at Golden State, Sacramento and Utah.
Damian Lillard scored 25 for the Blazers after missing five games with a hamstring injury. Jusuf Nurkic added 23 and CJ McCollum 19 for Portland.
The Cavs were unable to separate from the Blazers until Thomas and Dwyane Wade teamed up in the fourth quarter.
Thomas, who finished 6-of-12 from the field, sank a jumper then fired a pass toward the baseline to a cutting Wade, who made a reverse layup. On Cleveland’s next possession, Thomas spotted up in the corner in front of Cleveland’s bench and buried a 3-pointer to give the Cavs a 100-91 lead.
A few moments later, James was sent in for Thomas, who first got a hug from his teammate then another from coach Tyronn Lue as the crowd roared.
Thomas hadn’t played since May 19 because of a torn labrum in his hip that ended his 2017 postseason with Boston.
GAME HIGHLIGHTS: LaMarcus Aldridge scored 29, Kawhi Leonard had a season-high 25 and the visiting Spurs beat the Knicks 100-91 to give Gregg Popovich sole possession of fifth place on the NBA’s coaching wins list with 1,176.
AROUND THE LEAGUE: Lakers guard Lonzo Ball and center Brook Lopez were cleared to return to practice after recent injury absences. Both were questionable for tonight’s game against the Thunder.