Cavaliers star Kyrie Irving held out of Game 2 vs. Hawks after having sore knee examined

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FILE - In this May 14, 2015, file photo, Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving (2) grimaces during the first half of Game 6 against the Chicago Bulls in a second-round NBA basketball playoff series in Chicago. Kyrie Irving skipped the morning shootaround Friday, May 22, 2015, before Game 2 of the Eastern Conference final to get further evaluation on his ailing left knee. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh, File)


Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving (2) moves the ball as Atlanta Hawks guard Jeff Teague (0) looks on during the first half in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals of the NBA basketball playoffs, Wednesday, May 20, 2015, in Atlanta. (AP Photo/John Bazemore)


ATLANTA — Cleveland Cavaliers point guard Kyrie Irving missed Game 2 of the Eastern Conference finals against the Atlanta Hawks on Friday night after he had his ailing left knee examined by Dr. James Andrews.

Irving had been listed as questionable after scoring only 10 points and sitting out the final 8 minutes of the Cavaliers' victory in Game 1.

The team announced about 90 minutes before the game that Cavaliers physician Dr. Richard Parker accompanied Irving on the visit to Andrews. The location of the examination was not disclosed.

"The medical evaluation and decision on their part was it was best to hold him out," coach David Blatt said.

The team said Irving returned to Atlanta for the game.

The Cavaliers listed Irving as questionable for Game 3 in Cleveland on Sunday night.

"We're evaluating as we go forward," Blatt said. "We're hopeful we get him back."

Matthew Dellavedova started at point guard, with LeBron James expected to assume an expanded role handling the ball.

"Next man up," James said following the shootaround earlier Friday. "No excuses. No one's going to feel sorry for us no matter who's out."

Irving has been dealing with tendinitis in his left knee, as well as a strained right foot from an opening-round sweep of the Boston Celtics. When the knee acted up, he played only 12 minutes in the final game of a second-round victory over Chicago, giving Dellavedova the bulk of the playing time. The undrafted player from Australia came through with 19 points.

Irving had hoped a six-day break between series would help his knee improve, but he clearly was limited in the opener against the Hawks.

Now the focus again turns to Dellavedova.

"We've got confidence in anybody that comes on that floor," James insisted.

Irving apparently tweaked his knee during the third quarter of Game 1. Shortly after the Cavaliers pushed out to an 18-point lead, he left the court for good and watched his team hang on for a 97-89 victory.

"He's been going through games with less than 100 percent feeling," Blatt said. "He's tweaked it now and again. I don't know of one specific thing that happened in the last game, as opposed to what happened against Chicago."

Dellavedova played nearly 25 minutes against the Hawks but failed to score. He missed four attempts from beyond the 3-point arc and went 0 for 6 overall.

"I'll be ready to go," he said. "Whatever the team needs."

After Irving went out against the Hawks, James took over most of the ball-handling duties in the fourth quarter. He expects the same responsibilities if needed in Game 2.

"That means less touches in the paint," James said. "If one of our ball-handlers is out, I've got to handle the ball more along with (Dellavedova). It changes my approach a little bit."


AP Sports Writer Paul Newberry contributed to this report.

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