NBA: Kyrie Irving scores 24 in Mavericks debut
Kyrie Irving scored 24 points and dished out five assists in his Dallas Mavericks debut and Tim Hardaway Jr. added 19 points to power a 110-104 victory over the host Los Angeles Clippers on Wednesday.
Irving, who was officially acquired from the Brooklyn Nets on Monday, was 9 of 17 from the field with his new team as he helped pick up the slack for an absent Luka Doncic, who missed his third consecutive game with a heel injury.
The Mavericks have won four of their past five games as they await the debut of an Irving-Doncic duo, which could happen as early as Friday or Saturday, when they play a pair of road games against the Sacramento Kings.
Norman Powell scored 24 points and Terance Mann added 21 for the Clippers, who lost in their return home. Los Angeles went 4-2 on a road trip through the Eastern Conference as they vacated their arena for the Grammy Awards.
"I'm excited that I'm here… just keep things rolling now."
Kyrie talks his Mavs debut. pic.twitter.com/jAXNLxqcAj
— NBA (@NBA) February 9, 2023
Paul George scored 20 points and Kawhi Leonard had 18 as the Clippers failed to close out a season-series win. The teams split their four games this season.
The Mavericks opened with plenty of energy with Irving in the starting lineup. They led by as many as 19 in the first quarter and held a 41-25 lead after one period. Irving missed his first two shots in a Mavericks uniform before making a jumper from the side of the key four minutes into the game.
Dallas’ Reggie Bullock made his first five 3-point attempts, all in the first quarter, and finished with 18 points.
The Clippers closed within 60-52 at halftime and cut the deficit to 79-78 before the Mavericks took an 81-78 lead into the fourth quarter.
Dallas increased the advantage to 94-84 on a 3-pointer from Theo Pinson with 6:41 to play and closed out the game from there as Irving scored eight points over the final period.
Josh Green scored 14 points for the Mavericks, while Dwight Powell had 10. Irving played 37 minutes in his first game against the Clippers since Feb. 21, 2021, as a member of the Nets.
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