It was billed as a grudge match but there were no fireworks as the Cleveland Cavaliers downed the Boston Celtics 89-77 in the NBA on Tuesday.
The Cavs and Celtics were meeting for the first time since last season’s bruising first-round play-off series, which saw Kevin Love suffer a dislocated shoulder following a tussle with Boston’s Kelly Olynyk.
Jae Crowder was also struck in the jaw by J.R. Smith, the former demanding an apology from the Cavs player leading into the showdown in Boston.
But the rematch was uneventful as LeBron James led the Cavs to a third consecutive win.
James finished with 24 points, while Cavs team-mate Love added 20 on the road.
“We knew it was going to be that type of game tonight, just coming off the playoff series that we had with them,” James said.
“And, it’s our first time seeing them. We were able to answer the call.”
Avery Bradley was the pick of the Celtics players with 17 points.
The Denver Nuggets continued their good form, defeating the Minnesota Timberwolves 112-100.
Randy Foye posted 19 points and Kenneth Faried contributed 19 of his own and 10 rebounds as the Nuggets won for the sixth time in seven games.
Double-doubles from DeMarcus Cousins, Rudy Gay and Darren Collison helped the Sacramento Kings past the Houston Rockets 107-97.
Cousins had 26 points and 12 rebounds, Gay scored 17 points and collected 13 rebounds, and Collison finished with 14 points and 13 assists.
Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Lakers trumped the Milwaukee Bucks 113-95.