CLEVELAND — Kyrie Irving scored 29 points, Anderson Varejao had a career-high 23 rebounds and the Cleveland Cavaliers opened the season with a 94-84 victory over the short-handed Washington Wizards on Tuesday night in the first game on the NBA schedule.
Rookie Dion Waiters added 17 points for the Cavaliers.
Jordan Crawford scored 11 points to lead the Wizards, who were without star point guard John Wall, power forward Nene and forward Kevin Seraphin. Wall, the former No. 1 overall pick, is expected to be out until late November with a knee injury.
KNICKS: Amare Stoudemire could be sidelined for two months, the second consecutive season the forward will miss significant time because of injury.
The Knicks said Tuesday that Stoudemire would have left knee surgery and could be out six to eight weeks, more than twice as long as originally estimated when he was hurt during the preseason.
The team said he will have a debridement, a procedure to remove tissue.
“It’s tough. I mean, Amare’s a big piece to our puzzle, man. I don’t care how you slice it,” Knicks coach Mike Woodson said. “We’ll be here when he gets back, that’s for sure. We’ve just got to hold the fort down until he’s able to get back in a uniform and on the floor playing.”
NUGGETS: The team and point guard Ty Lawson are close to finalizing a contract extension that’s been hanging over the team and its star point guard for weeks.
On Tuesday afternoon, Lawson tweeted, “It Looks like im going to be a nugget for another 4 yrs..Thanks to the Kronke family, Masai, nuggets fans and everybody 4 believing In me”
The Denver Post reported Lawson had agreed to a $48 million extension.
MISTAKE: Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert now wishes he wouldn’t have guaranteed his team would win an NBA title before LeBron James.
When James left Cleveland for Miami as a free agent in July 2010, Gilbert famously promised in a letter to disappointed Cleveland fans that his Cavs would win a championship before James got one with the Heat.
“Looking back now, that probably was not the most brilliant thing I’ve ever done in my life,” Gilbert said.
TIMBERWOLVES: Have exercised third-year options on guard Ricky Rubio and forward Derrick Williams for the 2013-14 season.
Rubio averaged 10.6 points, 8.2 assists and 4.2 rebounds per game last season. He finished as runner-up in the NBA’s Rookie of the Year voting and finished sixth in the league, and first among rookies, in assists last season.
Williams appeared in all 66 games for the Timberwolves as a rookie, averaging 8.8 points and 4.7 rebounds per game.