The Rundown: Kyrie Irving scores 24 in Mavs debut

Published February 9, 2023, 5:00 PMPolo Bustamante

Kyrie Irving dazzled in his first game with the Mavericks with 24 points and five assists.


Cavaliers 113, Pistons 85

Wizards 118, Hornets 104

Celtics 106, 76ers 99

Heat 116, Pacers 111

Raptors 112, Spurs 98

Kings 130, Rockets 128

Timberwolves 143, Jazz 118

Mavericks 110, Clippers 104

Trail Blazers 125, Warriors 122

What went down

Four days ago, Kyrie Irving publicly requested for a trade from the Brooklyn Nets. The Nets quickly shipped him a couple of days later to the Dallas Mavericks. Today, Irving finally made his debut for his new team.

Irving’s first game for the Mavs came at the right time. They were facing one of their West rivals, the LA Clippers, without Luka Doncic who was sitting out due to a heel injury. Irving took on the starting point guard position for the Mavs and quickly made an impact.

With Irving leading the way, Dallas dropped 41 points in the first quarter of their game to take a quick 16-point lead over the Clippers. From a manageable seven-point advantage, Irving scored eight straight points to increase the lead up to 15 points. 

The rest of the Mavs took their cue from their new teammate, teaming up to grow the lead up to 19 points which was enough of a cushion to hold off LA’s rally. The Clippers trimmed it to a one-point deficit late in the third period but Josh Green, Theo Pinson, and Irving combined for a 6-0 blast to bring their advantage back to a safe number, which they held onto all the way to the final buzzer.

Irving led the way with 24 points and five assists. Tim Hardaways added 19 points, while Reggie Bullock had 18. Paul George and Kawhi Leonard combined for 38 points.

What he said

Griffin was stepping into the starting role with both Al Horford and Robert Williams out. For the season, the big man is only averaging a little over 13 minutes per game, playing in 23 games. He was literally plan Z for the undermanned Boston Celtics tonight. It only got worse for the Celtics midway through the game when Jaylen Brown had to leave due to a face injury. 

Instead, the Celtics pulled out the big win thanks to a balanced effort from the whole team. Malcolm Brogdon and Derrick White led the way with 19 points apiece. Griffin added 15 points with all his made shots coming from beyond the arc. Jayson Tatum was limited to only 12 points but he did a lot of the little things with eight rebounds and nine assists.

This was a game that the Philadelphia 76ers should have won. Instead they let a prime chance to beat the best team in the league slip away.

Big-time baller

It seems like Damian Lillard always reserves his biggest performances against the most popular teams and players in the league. He loves to torch the LA Lakers. He shows up big when facing rising stars like Doncic and Ja Morant. The Golden State Warriors and their core of stars aren’t safe from Lillard’s wrath.

Even with Steph Curry out, Lillard was still going up against former All-Stars Draymond Green and Klay Thompson, as well as young impact player Jordan Poole. That’s enough motivation for Lillard to show out.

Dame dropped a triple-double on the Warriors, scoring 33 points, grabbing 10 rebounds, and dishing out 11 assists. That’s just his second career triple-double so you know that it was a special performance reserved for a big opponent.

Did you see that?

Trade season is not just fun for us fans, it’s also a time for players to get hyped about all the moves being made by different teams.

Take a look at Jalen Brunson’s reaction to teaming up with his fellow Villanova alum, Josh Hart once again: