Isaiah Thomas back to All-Star form in Cleveland Cavaliers debut

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Isaiah Thomas
Cleveland Cavaliers guard Isaiah Thomas drives to the basket against Portland Trail Blazers guard Shabazz Napier. (REUTERS/Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports)

Despite being out of action for seven months due to injury, NBA point guard Isaiah Thomas returned to the court looking like his All-Star self, as his team, Cleveland Cavaliers, defeated the Portland Trailblazers 127-110.

Thomas had a very efficient game, recording 17 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists in just 19 minutes of play off the bench. His competent play helped the Cavaliers beat the Trailblazers by a healthy margin.

The 5-foot-9 guard checked into the game at the 4:33-minute mark in the first quarter and was greeted with a standing ovation from the Cleveland crowd. This was Thomas’ first official game with the Cavaliers, and he enjoyed the warm welcome from fans who are eager to see his exciting brand of basketball.

“It was a special moment,” said Thomas about the reception he got. “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.”

Thomas also noted that it was special for his family to see how warmly the city of Cleveland welcomes them. “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.”

His minutes against Portland were also his first official basketball action since Game 2 of the 2017 Eastern Conference Finals back in May when he led the Boston Celtics against this same Cleveland Cavaliers team.

In the biggest trade of the summer, Thomas, along with two other players and a future draft pick, was sent by the Celtics to the Cavaliers for a younger All-Star point guard, Kyrie Irving.

Boston has integrated Irving into the lineup pretty well and is currently sitting atop the Eastern Conference with a 31-10 record. Cleveland, on the other hand, holds the third spot in the conference ranking despite spending the first months of the season without Thomas in the lineup.