CLEVELAND (AP) -- Sitting and watching his teammates play was torture for Kyrie Irving. Seeing the Cavaliers lose made it worse.
Back earlier than expected, Irving was cleared to practice after missing 11 games with a broken left finger and the star point guard will likely play Tuesday night when Cleveland hosts the struggling Los Angeles Lakers.
"It's been very difficult," Irving said after Monday's practice. "But I've gotten a chance to really break down the game and it's given me a chance to get a different outlook being on the sideline. I'm really happy to be out there and be competing again."
The Cavs are thrilled to have him back.
Cleveland went just 2-9 without last season's rookie of the year, who broke his finger Nov. 17 in a game against Dallas. He played the following night at Philadelphia before medical tests revealed a non-displaced fracture. The Cavs thought Irving would be out for at least one month, but he's returning after just three weeks. Irving will play with...