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Kyrie Irving Heats Up After Slow Start in Season Debut

Ken Blaze/USA TODAY Sports

Cleveland Cavaliers star point guard Kyrie Irving made his much-anticipated return to the lineup against the lowly Philadelphia 76ers on Sunday, and while the rust was evident in his first game back from knee surgery, Irving impressed as the contest wore on in a 108-86 victory.

Irving and the entire Cavaliers team got off to a slow start. On their first offensive possession, he showed his ability to get to the rim, only to miss the layup badly. The first quarter featured a lot of sloppy play from both sides, and the Sixers actually led by four after the opening frame.

Cleveland soon took over the game, but it wasn’t until the third quarter that Irving really got going. The 23-year-old scored seven points in the frame and had a couple vintage moves:

When it was all said and done, Irving finished with 12 points on 5-of-12 shooting to go along with four assists and two steals in his 17 minutes of action. He made four of his last six shots after a disappointing 1-of-6 start, as he clearly began to feel more comfortable as he got his legs back under him.

This was a perfect game for Irving to ease his way back in, and soon things will ramp up. The Cavaliers play the New York Knicks on Dec. 23, and then it’s a Christmas Day showdown against Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors.

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