Kyrie Irving had his first practice with Dallas on Tuesday, and was asked if he envisioned any problems playing alongside Mavericks star Luka Doncic.

Irving’s answer: “No.”

The Mavs clearly see it the same way.

Irving’s Dallas chapter has started, with a practice in Los Angeles preceding what’s expected to be his debut game there when the Mavericks visit the Clippers on Wednesday night. The Mavericks struck a deal Sunday to acquire the eight-time All-Star from the Brooklyn Nets.

“I’ve played with some of the best of all time, greatest of all time,” Irving said. “I’ve been on some of the greatest teams, the Olympics and the world championships. This is going to be my first time seeing one of those bad Europeans come over and really dominate up close — and have the opportunity to do it at a pace that I don’t think has ever been seen before other than like Larry Bird.”

For his part, Mavericks Coach Jason Kidd said he expects Irving and Doncic to figure things out quickly.


“This isn’t two 23-year-olds trying to see who’s the alpha,” Kidd said. “We understand, this is Luka’s team. It will be Luka’s team.”

Irving was all smiles Tuesday, for good reason. He’s excited to be with the Mavericks, just as they were excited to get him.

“The combination of Kyrie and Luka will be fun to watch,” Mavs owner Mark Cuban said.

Brooklyn had a similar thought in 2019 when the Nets landed Irving and Kevin Durant, thinking they would be the pieces that brought a championship. They wound up playing only 74 regular-season games together.

Irving’s time with the Nets was often tumultuous. He took leaves of absence in the 2020-21 season, had to miss much of the 2021-22 season because he wouldn’t get vaccinated against COVID-19 and therefore wasn’t compliant with New York City workplace rules, and this year was suspended eight games after posting a link to a film with antisemitic messaging.

He eventually was welcomed back to the Nets, and played at an All-Star level once again. But when it was time to discuss an extension, the relationship soured again when Irving didn’t like whatever answer the Nets gave. He asked for a trade, and Brooklyn quickly accommodated him.


CELTICS: Boston should be getting some help for Wednesday’s showdown with the Philadelphia 76ers.

The Celtics announced on Tuesday that Jaylen Brown (illness) and Luke Kornet (ankle) have been upgraded to probable after both missed Monday’s 111-99 win over Detroit. Marcus Smart and Danilo Gallinari both remain out, while Rob Williams was also listed as probable with an ankle sprain after tweaking it during Monday’s win.

Smart has missed seven straight games with his ankle injury and his chances of returning before the All-Star Break next week are reduced by the day with just four games left for Boston before break, which starts after its home game against Detroit on Feb. 15.

TRADE: The San Antonio Spurs have acquired Dewayne Dedmon and a second-round draft from the Miami Heat, with the teams finalizing that deal.

The Spurs will receive Miami’s second-round selection in 2028. The Heat got cash considerations, plus more importantly, some newly opened financial flexibility – since they’re not taking any salary back – as well as a roster spot.

Dedmon is averaging 5.7 points in 30 games this season. He played in only one game for Miami after an incident during a Jan. 10 game against Oklahoma City in which he was upset after getting subbed out in the second quarter, argued with Heat players and coaches, then swatted at one of the massage guns behind the bench.


The device sailed onto the court – coming to rest about 35 feet from where Dedmon was standing – while play was happening. Dedmon was ejected for unsportsmanlike conduct and was later suspended for one game by the Heat.

It’s the first trade between the Heat and Spurs. Miami had made at least one other trade with every other NBA franchise.

HEAT: Kyle Lowry has been ruled out for Miami’s next three games with a left knee issue, and he could be sidelined even longer.

Lowry is averaging 12.0 points and 5.3 assists on 39.6% shooting this season, numbers all down from a year ago when Miami went into the Eastern Conference playoffs as the No. 1 seed. He will miss games against Indiana on Wednesday, versus Houston on Friday and at Orlando on Saturday.

He didn’t play Saturday at Milwaukee because of what the Heat called left knee soreness. The Heat will re-evaluate him next week, when Miami has two more games before the All-Star break.


SUNS 116, NETS 112: Deandre Ayton matched his career high with 35 points, Devin Booker scored 19 in his first game since Christmas and visiting Phoenix Suns held off Cam Thomas and Brooklyn.

Thomas, 21, led a late charge and finished with 43 points, becoming the youngest player in NBA history with three straight 40-point games. He had 44 and a career-high 47 points in his previous two games.

KNICKS 102, MAGIC 98: Jalen Brunson scored 25 points and made the go-ahead basket with 1:13 left, Julius Randle had 22 points and 14 rebounds and New York won in Orlando

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