NBA: LeBron James leads new-look Cavs to rout of Celtics

Lebron James of the Cleveland Cavaliers drives to the basket past Marcus Morris of the Boston Celtics during the first quarter of a game at TD Garden on Feb 11, 2018. PHOTO: AFP

BOSTON (REUTERS) - LeBron James scored 24 points, 10 assists and eight rebounds to power the Cleveland Cavaliers to a 121-99 victory against former team-mate Kyrie Irving and the Boston Celtics in a battle of the National Basketball Association's Eastern Conference heavyweights at TD Garden on Sunday (Feb 11).

Cleveland were playing their first game with a full squad after making a series of deadline-day trades to retool their roster, with George Hill, Rodney Hood, Jordan Clarkson and Larry Nance Jr. all making their Cavs debuts.

Clarkson finished with 17 points while Hood and J.R. Smith each added 15. Hill had 12 and Nance chipped in five to help the Cavs to a second straight win.

Irving led the Celtics with 18 points and five assists. Marcus Morris was the only other player in double figures with 17 for Boston, who dropped their second straight game.

James' fadeaway with 8min 7sec remaining in the first half tied things at 40 after Boston led for much of the first quarter.

Cleveland proceeded to close out the quarter on a 24-12 run to go up 64-52 at half-time and outscored the hosts 31-22 in the third.

The Cavs led by as many as 29 in the fourth.

James gave Cavs fans a scare when he left the game after suffering an apparent right-leg injury late in the first quarter. He barrelled into Boston's Aron Baynes driving to the basket and was called for the charge before limping to the sidelines.

After being treated on the Cavs' bench, James checked back into the game with 8:58 left before the break.

Cleveland cap a three-game road trip Tuesday in Oklahoma City. Boston will try to regroup Wednesday night against the Los Angeles Clippers.

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