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Cavs' Irving cleared to return to lineup

Feb. 15, 2012 at 10:57 PM

CLEVELAND, Feb. 15 (UPI) -- Cleveland Cavaliers rookie guard Kyrie Irving, who missed three games because of a concussion, returned to the lineup Wednesday.

Irving -- who was injured Feb. 7 when he was hit in the head by another player's knee -- scored 22 points in his return and the Cavaliers beat the Indiana Pacers 98-87.

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He participated in a full practice Tuesday but didn't meet NBA concussion protocols for return to the lineup until Cavaliers team physician Dr. A.J. Cianflocco said Wednesday he would be allowed back on the court for a game.

Irving was the No. 1 overall pick in the NBA draft last summer. He's averaged 18.0 points, 5.1 assists and 3.5 rebounds per game over 23 games for the Cavaliers. The points-per-game average is a team high.

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