The Associated Press

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Atlanta at Portland

When: 7 p.m. Friday

TV: NBCSNW

CLEVELAND — Isaiah Thomas had one last wait.

Sitting on the scorer’s table, Thomas could see the end of his seven-month odyssey in front of him. And when the buzzer finally sounded and the Cleveland crowd erupted for a player it barely knows, Thomas took the last few steps onto the court and completed a trip he hopes to never take again.

He was all the way back.

Thomas showed flashes of what made him an All-Star in his long-awaited debut for the Cavaliers, who snapped a three-game losing streak by beating the Portland Trail Blazers 127-110 on Tuesday night.

“It’s been a long journey for me,” Thomas said. “I couldn’t really see the light at the end of the tunnel. For that day to come the first couple days of 2018, it’s going to be a special year.”

It was a special night for Thomas, who scored 17 points and played 19 minutes in his first game in seven months, an impressive return to action for the dynamic point guard traded to Cleveland last summer. He added three 3-pointers and three assists before leaving with 8:10 remaining and the Cavs up by 12.

Before leaving the floor, Thomas got a hug from LeBron James and one from Cavs coach Tyronn Lue, who pulled him close and offered two perfect words.

“Welcome back,” Lue said.

James scored 24 points; Kevin Love had 19, and Jae Crowder added 15 for the Cavs, who were coming off losses at Golden State, Sacramento and Utah.

Damian Lillard scored 25 for the Blazers after missing five games with a hamstring injury. Jusuf Nurkic added 23 and C.J. McCollum had 19 for Portland.

Also Tuesday:

Spurs 100, Knicks 91: NEW YORK — LaMarcus Aldridge scored 29 points; Kawhi Leonard had a season-high 25, and the win gave Gregg Popovich sole possession of fifth place on the NBA’s coaching wins list.

Suns 104, Hawks 103: PHOENIX — Devin Booker sank three free throws to put Phoenix ahead with 12.3 seconds to play; Marquese Chriss blocked Taurean Prince’s shot at the rim with 7 seconds to go, and the Suns rallied from down 10 in the final 2½ minutes.

Hornets 131, Kings 111: SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Dwight Howard had 20 points and eight rebounds; Kemba Walker added 12 points and 10 assists, and Charlotte got its third straight win.

Clippers 113, Grizzlies 105: LOS ANGELES — Lou Williams scored 33 points off the bench to lead Los Angeles to its fourth consecutive win. Blake Griffin added 21 points for the Clippers.

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