LeBron James starred in Cleveland's opening-day NBA win over Boston.
LeBron James starred in Cleveland's opening-day NBA win over Boston.

Horror injury overshadows opening-day win for Cavs

LEBRON James showed why he's the best player on the planet, dropping a near triple-double in the Cleveland Cavaliers' emotional 102-99 win over the Boston Celtics.

The first game of the season was already set to feature Kyrie Irving, now a Celtic, going up against his old team, but an injury to Gordon Hayward was what rocked the entire league, early.

In what was supposed to be the spectacular rivalry between James and Irving, Hayward suffered a gruesome ankle injury that put a halt to the evening.

Hayward, who signed with the Boston Celtics this off-season, went up for an alley-oop, but landed awkwardly.

Hawyard was transported from the arena, with the initial diagnosis a fractured left ankle.

Still, the Celtics rallied, led by an inspiring effort from Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, to make it a close game.

But, it was James who stepped up and took over the game, finishing with 29 points, 16 rebounds, and nine assists in the victory.

Down three, with seconds to play, Irving had a chance to send the game to overtime, but his three-pointer fell short; the star point guard embracing James as the final buzzer sounded.

Irving, who was drafted by the Cavaliers, then shook hands with the rest of his former team; a happy end to a night that was marred by a stunning injury.

Kevin Love finished with 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Cavaliers, including a clutch three-pointer in the final minute.

For the Celtics, Brown led the way with 25 points and six rebounds, while Irving posted 22 points and 10 assists in the loss.

Australian big man Aron Baynes was impressive on both ends, finishing with six points and five rebounds for the Celtics.