Kyrie to skip Philly trip with back issue
CLEVELAND — Add point guard Kyrie Irving to the Cavaliers’ list of barely-walking wounded.
Irving will sit out Monday’s game at Philadelphia after experiencing tightness in his lower back. Irving aggravated the injury during the Cavs’ 109-90 home loss to Dallas on Sunday. He exited the game for good in third quarter, finishing with a season-low six points on 2-of-7 shooting.
The Cavaliers (19-15) are already without star forward LeBron James and starting center Anderson Varejao. James is expected to miss two weeks with strains to his lower back and knee. Varejao is out for the season after tearing his Achilles tendon Dec. 23.
Irving initially suffered the injury after a hard fall in last week’s win at Charlotte.
"It was tight in the fourth quarter of the Charlotte game, then I fell on it, which made it 10 times worse," Irving said. "It’s just painful right now. But we just have to get through it."
Earlier, Irving missed three games because of a sore knee, suffered in a Dec. 11 loss at Oklahoma City.
"It sucks because you have two injuries at one time," he said. "You try your best to get through it, but sometimes your body is just telling you when to stop. This is the time."
Neither Irving nor James will travel to Philadelphia. Both will instead remain in Cleveland to receive treatment. Irving is second on the team to James in scoring (19.6 ppg) and assists (5.3 apg).
Cavs coach David Blatt said he did not believe Irving’s injury is a long-term concern. But Blatt added that "clearly, short-term, it’s a worry."
The Cavs (19-15) have lost five of their previous seven games.