(Sports Network) - Daniel Gibson scored a game-high 18 points off the bench, as the Cleveland Cavaliers began the post-LeBron James era with an 87-72 win over the Charlotte Bobcats in the preseason opener for both teams.
The 25-year-old James, who played for the Cavaliers his entire seven-year career, announced in front of a nationally televised audience on July 9 that he had decided to join the Miami Heat as a free agent to team up with superstars Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh.
J.J. Hickson contributed 17 points and nine rebounds, while Ramon Sessions and Anthony Parker added 11 and 10 points, respectively, for Cleveland, which gave new head coach Byron Scott his first victory with the team. Scott, who took over one week before James announced he was leaving, replaced Mike Brown. Brown was fired shortly after the Cavaliers were eliminated in the second round of the playoffs by Boston last season.
D.J. Augustin had a team-best 14 points for the Bobcats, who also got 11 points apiece from Javaris Crittenton and Tyrus Thomas.
Neither team shot particularly well, but Cleveland ended up shooting 36.4 percent from the field and 3-of-12 from three-point range as compared to Charlotte, which finished 31.7 percent from the field and only 2-of-10 from beyond the arc.