Too bad the Cleveland Cavaliers couldn't play this way seven months ago.
The Cavs not only beat the team that swept them in last season's NBA Finals, the San Antonio Spurs, they did it in San Antonio and had the Spurs scrambling to stay in the game for much of the night.
In the end, though, the Cavaliers could only keep their fingers crossed as San Antonio's Manu Ginobili put up a jumper that would have tied the game at the buzzer. Ginobili missed and Cleveland had a 90-88 win, with, fittingly, the deciding points coming on a LeBron James layup.
Early in the game, it looked as if the Spurs would reprise the dominance they established in last year's championship, as they led for the entire first quarter. But James got some help from his teammates and Cleveland finally got the lead about midway through the second period, and held it until the fourth period. Over the last eight minutes, it was a scramble with the teams exchanging the lead several times and the game coming down to the basket James made with 33 seconds left and a couple of missed San Antonio opportunities, including free throws by Tony Parker and the final jumper Ginobili missed.