LeBron James made his preseason debut Tuesday after missing Cleveland’s first three games with a sprained left ankle. He scored 17 points, but also had eight turnovers in the 108-94 loss to the Chicago Bulls.
It was the first chance for James to play with close friend and former Miami Heat teammate Dwyane Wade as the Cavaliers showed off their new starting lineup. Cavs coach Tyronn Lue brought out his new starting group for the first time now that James is back. Wade, Kevin Love and newcomers Derrick Rose and Jae Crowder joined him. Lue announced the lineup, which includes three former MVPs Monday. James and Rose have won regular-season MVPs and Wade was the 2006 Finals MVP. Rose finished with 13 points and Iman Shumpert added 12.
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James committed seven turnovers (all in the first half) and looked like a guy who spent the past two weeks rehabbing while the players around him were sharpening their games. James reiterated that he’s still not 100 percent but said he was motivated to return to the lineup to gauge where he is at. With that said, James’ 17 points still led the Cavs and he shot 8-for-13 from the floor with 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals and a block.
The Cavs finish off the preseason Friday on the road against the Orlando Magic and will look to avoid a 0-5-exhibition record.
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