Kyrie Irving returned to the court in Cleveland on Wednesday night, after missing three games with a concussion. Irving, the first overall pick in the 2011 draft, came back home with a vengence, leading his team to a 98-87 win over the Indiana Pacers.
On December 30th, Irving scored 20 points against the Pacers, but missed a possible game-winning layup at the end of regulation. The game went into overtime, with Indiana eventually defeating Cleveland 98-91. On Wednesday night, Irving scored 22 points, helping the Cavs hand Indiana their fifth loss in a row.
Cleveland hit seven of their first 11 shots, taking an early lead that they never lost. The Pacers were down as many as 21 points, and could not get any closer the 12 behind, until the game’s final minute. Indiana’s slow starts continued, as they shot one for six from the free throw line to start the game, and shot one for nine from the floor to start the second quarter. The Pacers had only two assists at halftime, which was the lowest first-half assist total for any team so far this season.
Danny Granger did not play in the game, and remains day-to-day, with a left ankle sprain. Dahntay Jones, starting his second game of the season, shot one out of eight and scored only three points in Granger’s absence.
Indiana returns home Thursday night to play the New Jersey Nets, finishing their third game in three nights. Cleveland is off until Friday, when they will once again welcome Lebron James back home, as the Cavs battle the streaking Miami Heat