Basketball: Cleveland Cavaliers lose first game since sacking coach David Blatt

LeBron James #23 takes the ball down court followed by Iman Shumpert #4 of the Cleveland Cavaliers on Jan 23, 2016.
LeBron James #23 takes the ball down court followed by Iman Shumpert #4 of the Cleveland Cavaliers on Jan 23, 2016.PHOTO: AFP

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Pau Gasol had 25 points and 10 rebounds as the Chicago Bulls beat the Cleveland Cavaliers 96-83 on Saturday in the Cavs first National Basketball Association (NBA) game under their new coach Tyronn Lue.

General manager David Griffin made the surprising decision to fire David Blatt on Friday despite owning the top record in the Eastern Conference.

Griffin attributed it to problems in the locker room and a team that was regressing despite piling up victories.

LeBron James just missed his first triple-double of the season, finishing with 26 points, 13 rebounds and nine assists.

In New Orleans, Ryan Anderson led a blistering perimeter attack by making a season-high six three-pointers for 23 points, and Anthony Davis added 22 points, to lift the surging New Orleans Pelicans to a 116-99 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks.

In winning for the fifth time in six games, the Pelicans (16-27) placed seven players in double figures. They also won their season-best fourth consecutive home game, with four games left in a seven-game home stand.

In Charlotte, Kemba Walker and Jeremy Lin each scored 26 points as the Charlotte Hornets completed an impressive weekend sweep by beating the New York Knicks 97-84.

Walker and Lin combined to go only 14-of-42 from the field, but they were a perfect 19-of-19 from the free-throw line - Lin hitting all 10 of his free-throws and Walker all nine of his.

In Minnesota, a 37-point second quarter for the Minnesota Timberwolves spurred a 106-101 victory over the Memphis Grizzlies, snapping a four-game winning streak for the visitors, who entered the night winners in six of seven overall.

Trailing by one with 35 seconds left, the Grizzlies had the ball to inbound in the offensive end of the court, but were called for a five-second violation.