Two hours before tipoff between the Cleveland Cavaliers (10-21) and the Orlando Magic (10-21) at Quicken Loans Arena, the Cavs announced that point guard Kyrie Irving would miss his first game of the season because of an injury he suffered in the New Year’s Eve game against the Indiana Pacers. Backup guard Jarrett Jack will be making his first start of the season in place of Irving.
The Plain Dealer was first to report the news on Thursday:
Kyrie Irving OUT for #Cavs tonight vs. Orlando. First game he’s missed this season. Jarrett Jack will start.
— M.S. Boyer/J. Valade (@PDcavsinsider) January 2, 2014
After driving in the lane against Indiana for a layup, Irving suffered a left knee contusion and was removed from the game. After being evaluated in the locker room, he was allowed to reenter the game for the Cavaliers and returned to the bench before the end of the third quarter. After undergoing an MRI on Wednesday, Irving’s injury was confirmed and the team announced that he would be a game-time decision for the Thursday matchup against the Magic.
Along with Irving missing Thursday’s contest, fellow 2011 first-round pick for the Magic center Nikola Vucevic will be missing the action at the Q as well. Vucevic is out with an ankle injury. Magic beat reporter for the Orlando Sentinel Josh Robbins was first to report the news:
Nik Vucevic will not play tonight.
— Josh Robbins (@JoshuaBRobbins) January 2, 2014
Tipoff is set for 7 p.m. at the Q.