Kyrie Irving suffered an injury in Game 1 of the NBA Finals that could deal a series blow to the title hopes of the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Irving re-aggravated his knee near the end of what would be a 108-100 loss for the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Irving was hurt at a critical juncture, leaving in overtime just as the Golden State Warriors were putting together a run that would put the game away. The Cavs guard was limping heavily and noticeably upset as he made his way to the lockeroom, with television cameras following along.
Irving, who has been bothered by tendinitis for the last six weeks and has missing a number of games, may have avoided serious injury. Initial tests from the team’s medical staff showed he did not tear his ACL or MCL.
Kyrie Irving’s injury was almost avoided. The Cavs guard blocked a Stephen Curry layup attempt with under 30 seconds left in the fourth quarter and the game tied, but LeBron James missed on a stepback jumpshot and Iman Shumpert missed a long three-point attempt after gathering the rebound.
“I got to where I wanted to get, step back, made them before,” James said. “It’s a make or miss league, and we had our chances.”
James added that it was disappointing to see Irving go down.
“It was very tough to see,” James said. “I’ve seen how hard he worked these last eight days just to get himself to play at this level tonight.”
The injury to Irving could deal a huge blow to the Cavaliers. Depth is not a strong point for the team that already lost Kevin Love, and for long stretches the Cavs looked almost exclusively to LeBron James to generate offense.
Irving was also key on the defensive end, holding league MVP Stephen Curry to 1-of-5 shooting and four points. Against other Cavs defenders Curry his 8 of 14 shots for 19 points.
Though he was still hours before any kind of official update on how long he could be out, Kyrie Irving sounded pessimistic about the injury.
“You can hear in the tone of my voice that I’m a little worried,” Irving said. “I just want to make sure everything is OK, and I’m going to take the necessary steps to see what’s going on.”
Irving would later leave the locker room on crutches.
The Cleveland Cavaliers are expected to give an update on Kyrie Irving’s injury sometime on Friday. It is not yet clear how much time he might miss.
[Image via Getty Images/Ezra Shaw]