Kyrie Irving cleared to practice, should play vs. Lakers

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The struggling Cleveland Cavaliers are no longer without star guard Kyrie Irving.

The team announced that Irving was cleared to practice Monday and is expected to be available to play Tuesday, when the Cavaliers host the Los Angeles Lakers.

Irving fractured his left index finger in a 103-95 loss to Dallas on Nov. 17. He played the following night in Philadelphia but managed a season-low nine points with five turnovers in 37 minutes of an 86-79 loss.

An examination the following day revealed the fracture, and Irving has missed 11 games. Cleveland won just twice without Irving and has fallen to 4-17 overall.

Irving is averaging 22.9 points and 5.6 assists this season. The 2012 Rookie of the Year gives the Cavs a chance to win because of his ability to break down defenses and create offense for himself or teammates.

Irving’s return is great news for the Cavaliers and more bad news for the Lakers (9-12), who start a four-game road trip with a visit to The Q.

The Lakers fell to 4-7 under new coach Mike D’Antoni with Sunday’s home loss to Utah. Their point guard situation is a mess, with starter Steve Nash and backup Steve Blake sidelined with injuries.

LA has been using veteran Chris Duhon and Darius Morris to run D’Antoni’s offense without much success. Duhon is averaging 4.4 points and 3.9 assists and Morris is averaging 4.9 points and 2.5 assists.

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