CHICAGO — Kyrie Irving rested his sore right knee on Tuesday night, shelving the All-Star guard for the Cleveland Cavaliers’ game against the Chicago Bulls.
Irving hurt the knee in practice last week and was slowed by the injury during recent games at Orlando and Miami. He made just 6 of 16 shots in the loss to the Heat and did not have his usual explosiveness.
“It bothered him the last two games,” coach Byron Scott said. “The Orlando game, it bothered him, then the Miami game it bothered him more. So yesterday he was still complaining about it really bothering him and hurting, but he wanted to give it a go. We just didn’t think there was a reason why he should.
“If it continues to get worse, he’ll probably have to sit out a whole lot longer than expected. So right now our medical team thought it would be a good idea to rest him next couple days and see where he is and we’ll go from there.”
Scott said tests on Irving’s knee came back negative and he is considered day to day. The Cavaliers’ next game is Wednesday at home against Toronto.
Irving was the NBA Rookie of the Year last season, when he averaged 18.5 points and 5.4 assists. The No. 1 overall selection in the 2011 draft has been even better this season, averaging 23.3 points, 5.6 assists and 3.6 rebounds. He won the 3-point shooting contest during All-Star weekend in Houston.
He missed 11 games this season with a broken left index finger.
The absence of Irving meant both star point guards were out of action at the United Center on Tuesday night. Derrick Rose of the Bulls is recovering from major knee surgery and has never faced Irving in an NBA game.
“Well, I think we’re all looking forward to that,” Scott said of a Rose-Irving duel. “My greatest hope is that No. 1 that Derrick Rose comes back and he’s back to being the old Derrick Rose. If that happens and they get a chance to go against each other, I think that would be very interesting. So I think we’re all looking forward to that.”