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Thursday, 4 January 2018

Isaiah Thomas get a loud ovation at his return debut for Cleveland Cavaliers


CLEVELAND -- Isaiah Thomas walked toward his locker before the Cleveland Cavaliers beat the Portland Trail Blazers 127-110 on Tuesday, and before he could slip on his jersey ahead of his first game in more than seven months, his teammates caused a commotion to mark the moment.

"I feel like a damn rookie," Thomas muttered under his breath as he sat down in front of his wine and gold No. 3 uniform. He didn't play like a rookie, however, as he scored 17 points and played 19 minutes in his long-awaited Cleveland debut.

"It was a special night for me," Thomas said afterward. "I haven't played in seven months, so to be able to be out there and compete against another team was special. Obviously to get the win was even bigger but just to be able to compete and be out there in a game setting, it was a great feeling for myself."

Thomas checked in to a standing ovation with 4:33 left in the first quarter -- his first official action since Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals when he played for the Boston Celtics and faced the Cavs as an opponent on May 19 -- and picked up an assist on his first trip down the floor, passing to his old Boston teammate, Jae Crowder.
"It was a special moment," Thomas said of the reception. "I haven't played in a game, and you would think I was here for a few years and playing and battling in Finals with this team, but it was special for my family to be here, my wife and kids to see that, that's genuine love right there and I appreciate them patiently waiting and giving me the love they did tonight."

Thomas took a spill on his second possession after crossing up Damian Lillard, but got back up with no damage other than a grimace on his face. He attempted his first shot the next time he touched the ball, rimming a 3-pointer in and out


James offered a glowing report about his new teammate.


"He's very good, very good," James said. "Very dynamic. Can shoot the pill. Can get in the lane. Can pass the ball. He's going to just create so much for our team."


James also credited Thomas' mentality.


"What I like most about him is he has a chip on his shoulder for life," he said. "That's just who he is. When a guy's got a chip on his shoulder for life, he ain't going to -- he's never going to not work hard. Not going to never give it his all. Not going to never disappoint you. Now basketball, you miss shots and things of that nature, and we're not worried about that. You make turnovers, all of that, that's not what I'm saying, but a guy like that -- he's going to always put in the work. And when you put in the work the game is going to always give back to you."




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