Cavaliers' Kyrie Irving will start

Updated: April 25, 2012, 7:45 PM ET
Associated Press

CLEVELAND -- Cavaliers rookie guard Kyrie Irving will start the team's home finale against Washington.

Irving
Irving

Irving had missed the morning shootaround Wednesday and the team listed him as questionable with gastroenteritis. However, after taking some shots and warming up on the Quicken Loans Arena floor, he was cleared by the team's medical staff. The Cavs announced he would play about 30 minutes before the opening tip.

Irving wanted to be in the lineup and play as a way of thanking Cleveland's fans, but the final decision was up to coach Byron Scott and general manager Chris Grant, who consulted in the coach's office with the team's trainer and doctor.

"I told him if I decided to play him, it's going to be limited minutes," Scott said. "He wants to play because of the fans in the last home game. I understand."

The NBA's presumptive rookie of the year, Irving recently returned after missing nine consecutive games with a sprained right shoulder. The No. 1 overall pick in last year's draft is averaging 18.8 points and 5.5 assists. He scored 25 points in Monday night's loss at Memphis.

Scott has been closely monitoring Irving's minutes since he returned from the shoulder injury.

After hosting the Wizards, the Cavs will close the season on Thursday in Chicago.

Washington played without starting guard Jordan Crawford, who will miss the final two games with a sprained ankle.

Crawford has been the team's leading scorer since the All-Star break. Cartier Martin started for Crawford.


Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press

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