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In brief: Knicks spoil LeBron James’ return to Cleveland

New York's Carmelo Anthony, right, fouls Cleveland's LeBron James during the fourth quarter on Thursday. (Associated Press)
New York's Carmelo Anthony, right, fouls Cleveland's LeBron James during the fourth quarter on Thursday. (Associated Press)

NBA: LeBron James struggled from the start in his first game with Cleveland in four years, and the New York Knicks ruined the megastar’s emotional homecoming with a 95-90 victory over the host Cavaliers on Thursday night.

James, who returned to the Cavs and his native Ohio this summer after winning two NBA titles in Miami, finished with 17 points on 5-of-15 shooting. He also committed eight turnovers and never looked comfortable on a night when the entire city – and a star-studded crowd – celebrated his comeback.

Carmelo Anthony scored 25 points and buried a jumper with James in his face with 25 seconds left to give the Knicks a 92-87 lead.

Kyrie Irving scored 22 and Kevin Love added 19 points and 14 rebounds for the Cavs.

Clippers celebrate win; Thunder lose Westbrook: Blake Griffin scored 23 points, making two free throws with five seconds left, Chris Paul added 22 and the Los Angeles Clippers beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 93-90 in their season opener to usher in a new era under owner Steve Ballmer.

Already without injured Kevin Durant, the Thunder lost Russell Westbrook to a hand injury in the second quarter. ESPN reported that Westbrook had a fracture in his hand.

Balmer paid a record $2 billion to buy the team after 33-year owner Donald Sterling was banned for life by the NBA for racist remarks. The Thunder sent the Clippers packing in the second round of the playoffs last spring, shortly after the Sterling scandal erupted.

Red Bulls eliminate defending champs

MLS: Bradley Wright-Phillips scored twice in the final 13 minutes to rally New York to a 2-1 victory over Sporting Kansas City in Harrison, New Jersey, eliminating the defending MLS Cup champion from the playoffs and sending the Red Bulls to the conference semifinals.

Wright-Phillips, who led the league with a record-tying 27 goals, tied it in the 77th minute and headed in the winner with less than a minute remaining in regulation.

New York will host Eastern Conference champion D.C. United on Sunday in the first-leg of a two-match semifinal. D.C. will host the second leg on Nov. 8.

Sharp, Hossa lead Blackhawks to win

NHL: Marian Hossa had a goal and an assist in the Chicago Blackhawks’ 5-4 shootout win over the Ottawa Senators in Ottawa, Ontario, reaching two milestones in the city in which he started his NHL career back in 1997.

Patrick Sharp scored the only goal of the shootout. Jonathan Toews scored twice for Chicago (6-3-1), and Kris Versteeg added a goal. Scott Darling turned aside 28 shots for the win.

Mark Stone, Clarke MacArthur, Bobby Ryan and Mika Zibanejad had goals for Ottawa (5-2-2). Craig Anderson made 35 saves.

Hossa’s goal at 13:50 of the third period was his second of the season and his 1,000th career point. It came in his 1,100th NHL game.

Wild beat Sharks 4-3 in shootout: Mikko Koivu and Jason Pominville scored in the shootout and the Minnesota Wild beat the San Jose Sharks 4-3 in St. Paul, Minnesota.

Kyle Brodziak scored twice in the third period and Koivu in the second period for Minnesota, which for the second straight game overcame a 3-1 third-period deficit to win.

Murray clinches ATP finals berth in Paris

Tennis: Andy Murray clinched a spot in the ATP Finals after beating Grigor Dimitrov in straight sets at the Paris Masters and then sent a message to his critics by scribbling “bad year” on a courtside television camera.

Following a tumultuous year that saw him change coaches and recover from a back injury, Murray booked his spot at the season-ending tournament in London by reaching the quarterfinals at the Palais Omnisports with a 6-3, 6-3 win over No. 9 seed Dimitrov. Before leaving the court, Murray signed “bad year” on a camera lens.

“It wasn’t a jibe (at critics), it’s a bit of fun,” he said about his autograph. “I mean, people are going to ask me all the time why I’ve had such a poor year by my standards. You’re allowed sometimes to say something in response to that. I don’t tend to do that often, but, look, it’s been a hard year, a tough year, but it hasn’t been a bad year.”

Up next for Murray will be top-ranked Novak Djokovic, who withstood 12 aces before extending his unbeaten record against Gael Monfils to 11-0 with a 6-3, 7-6 (2) over the Frenchman.

Second-seeded Roger Federer kept the pressure on Djokovic in their battle for the year-end No. 1 spot, easily beating French qualifier Lucas Pouille 6-4, 6-4 to set up a meeting with Milos Raonic.

Tom Pernice Jr. takes Champions Tour lead

Golf: Tom Pernice Jr. shot a 5-under 65 to take a one-stroke lead in the Champions Tour’s Charles Schwab Cup Championship in Scottsdale, Arizona.

Pernice rebounded from a bogey on the par-3 17th with a birdie on the par-5 18th on Desert Mountain’s Cochise Course. The 55-year-old player won the Principal Charity Classic in Iowa in June for his third career victory on the 50-and-older tour.

Karlberg leads CIMB Classic by 2 strokes: Sweden’s Rikard Karlberg shot a 7-under 65 for a two-stroke lead after the opening round of the CIMB Classic, a joint PGA Tour and Asian Tour event in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Karlberg, who is one of ten Asian Tour players in the 78-man field, birdied his final two holes at Kuala Lumpur Golf and Country Club to lead three players at 67.

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