Irving back in Nets’ lineup, missed game after Bryant died

              Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (11) reacts after a basket in overtime of an NBA basketball game against the Detroit Pistons in Detroit, Saturday, Jan. 25, 2020. Brooklyn won 121-111. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

NEW YORK (AP) — Kyrie Irving is back in Brooklyn’s starting lineup after not playing on the day Kobe Bryant died.

Irving is starting for the Nets in their home game Wednesday against the Detroit Pistons.

Irving was at Madison Square Garden on Sunday when he learned that Bryant had died in a helicopter crash along with his daughter and seven others. Irving, who is friends with the longtime Lakers star, then left the arena before the Nets lost to the New York Knicks.

The point guard returned to practice Tuesday. Coach Kenny Atkinson said Irving was more quiet than usual but practiced well and believed being back on the floor was good for him.

Irving scored 45 points in an overtime victory at Detroit on Saturday.