Non-competitive during an eight-game losing streak, the Cavs learned Wednesday that they will be without rookie Kyrie Irving for at least one week and maybe for another 10 days after the point guard re-injured his sprained right shoulder during a 35-point home loss to San Antonio on Tuesday.
Irving had returned after missing one game with the injury and played 30 minutes against the Spurs. The team said in a release that the 20-year-old guard worsened his injury after contact and did not accompany the team to Milwaukee for Wednesday night's game.
The Cavs, who have lost 11 of 12 and 17 of 21, are projecting Irving will miss at least one week. The team said Irving underwent an MRI, which revealed a bruise and sprain. Irving did not mention his injury following the game and the team did not reveal he stayed behind until a few hours before the scheduled tip-off against the Bucks.
Irving, who wore a protective brace in Tuesday's game, hit the floor following contact on at least two play against the Spurs.
Coach Byron Scott had promised to be overly cautious with his young star so as to not risk him getting hurt and missing more time. Now that Irving is hurt again, the Cavs are unlikely to take any more chances with the No. 1 overall pick and presumptive NBA rookie of the year. The Cavs play seven games in the next 10 days and will be without their leading scorer.
Irving scored 13 points in the Cavs' 125-90 loss to the Spurs, who were able to rest many of their starters after building a huge lead in the second half. According to STATS LLC, the Cavs are the first team in NBA history to lose consecutive home games by at least 35. Cleveland lost 121-84 to the Bucks on Friday when Irving first hurt his shoulder.
Also, the Cavs have lost by an average of 19.63 points during their eight-game slide, the third-largest margin of defeat during a losing streak of at least eight games since 2001.
After the loss to San Antonio, Irving said the losing is taking a toll.
''It starts to wear on you mentally, it starts to wear on you physically,'' he said. ''It's hard when you're making so many mistakes. The film sessions and practice get to you a little bit, but we all get paid to do this at a really high level and we just have to pick it up from a mental standpoint first, and physical.''