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In his Dallas Mavericks debut, Kyrie Irving scored 24 points to help his new team beat the Los Angeles Clippers 110-104 on the road.
Irving joined the Mavericks on Monday along with Markieff Morris in a trade for Spencer Dinwiddie, Dorian Finney-Smith and three draft picks to the Brooklyn Nets, and did it all Wednesday, adding five assists, 4 rebounds, 1 steal and 1 steal . Blocked shots, shot 53 percent from the field and 50 percent from three.
The Mavericks are without star point guard Luka Doncic, who has now missed three straight games with a heel injury, and remain in fourth place in the unusually crowded Western Conference.
Irving told reporters, “It feels good to be able to do a good first play.” “It’s just been a long 96 hours, hardly any sleep. It’s the first time I’ve been changed mid-season so it’s new for me but I’m happy to be here.
“The first game I just wanted to make sure, I think my teammates wanted to make sure, the coaching staff wanted us not to feel the pressure, the main thing we emphasized as a team was not to press the ball myself.
“As a team where we just want to play natural basketball, we talked about that. You don’t always have to come to me. I can play the ball, I can cut. So they’re just getting used to playing me and seeing how many open shots I can create for them and the double teams that are coming up.
“Our rotation is getting better and better, and I’m sure when No. 77 [Doncic] comes back, it will be more fun to watch and play there.”
Irving was backed up by Tim Hardaway Jr. Reggie Bullock scored 19 points with 18, while Norman Powell scored 24, Terrence Mann scored 21 and Paul George scored 20 for the Clippers.
Dallas struggled in Doncic’s absence this season, losing the first seven games without the 23-year-old, but the Maverick were able to bounce back in his absence after beating the Utah Jazz and Clippers. The next two victories were scored.
When asked what he thinks of Irving so far in a Dallas jersey, Doncic needs a one-word answer.
Kyrie Irving scored 24 points in his Dallas debut as the Maverick beat the Los Angeles Clippers 110-104 on Wednesday night.
The eight-time All-Star was traded from the Brooklyn Nets to the Mavericks on Sunday. He went 13-0 early in the game with eight rebounds and back-to-back 3-pointers.
Irving had four rebounds and five assists in 37 minutes, the equivalent of a dress rehearsal for the Mavericks’ strong front before the return of the injured Luka Doncic. When Irving was introduced to the starting lineup, he was cheered and a boy held up a sign welcoming him to the team.
Irving fouled Paul George early in the fourth quarter. A Clippers fan yelled at him, “I love you, but it’s obvious.” Irving smiled and shook his head and said no.
Former Clipper Reggie Bullock scored 15 of his 18 points in the first quarter against his former team. All five Dallas starters hit in double figures.
Norman Powell scored 24 points, Terrence Mann had 21 points, and the Clippers snapped a two-game winning streak. George added 20 points. Kawhi Leonard scored twice in the first half and finished with 18. After trailing 4-2, the Clippers never led and trailed by 19 points in the first quarter.
They took the lead in the third game. Leonard scored 11 straight points, went on a 20-10 spurt and made it 79-78. Josh Green’s layup in the fourth quarter gave the Mavericks an 81-78 lead. The Mavericks quickly extended their lead to 10 points in the fourth quarter. The Clippers were within five points four times, but were shut out by the Mavericks. After outscoring the Mavericks 27-19 in the second quarter, the Clippers cut the deficit to 60-52 at halftime.
The Mavericks scored 41 points and shot 60 percent in the first quarter. They started the game with a 21-9 win over the Clippers.
Leonard scored two points and George scored 10 in the first half, going 5-for-14 from the field.