Kyrie Irving: Fatigue not an excuse, 'I've just got to be better'

INDEPENDENCE, Ohio -- LeBron James has willingly assumed the blame for the Cleveland Cavaliers' Game 1 loss to the Chicago Bulls, vowing to change his mindset for Wednesday's Game 2. Kyrie Irving, even though he scored a game-high 30 points in Game 1, said he too cost his team by getting tired out late in the fourth quarter.

"The shots I was taking, especially down the stretch, they were fatigued shots," Irving said following a shootaround Wednesday. "It just wasn't in the flow of our offense. Regardless of if I'm hot or not or Bron's hot or not, it's just the guys out on there on the floor, I just have to make better decisions -- whether it's going to be making one of my teammates better or me taking a shot.

"Whether it's tough or not, I just have to be well prepared, especially in the fourth quarter when things get a little bit more tough, just got to be resilient and prepared with my body. To get fatigued in the fourth quarter, and it's the playoffs, guys can get tired or whatever but it's not necessarily an excuse for myself and I've just got to be better."

Irving shot 2-for-7 in the fourth quarter, missing his last four attempts in the final 6:52 as Cleveland saw a two-point deficit balloon back to eight before eventually losing by seven, 99-92.

He led the Cavs in minutes played, logging 44 out of a possible 48.

"I'm willing to play as many minutes as I can, fatigued or not," Irving said. "Whatever it takes to win."

Cleveland had more than a week of rest in between its sweep of Boston in the first round and the start of its second-round series against Chicago, but all that time off couldn't stop Irving from getting worn down a bit against the Bulls.

The All-Star guard said he used Tuesday for "extra rest, massages [and] great food" to try to refuel for Game 2.

Irving, 23, led the Cavs in minutes played during the regular season with 36.4, a number that's increased to 41.2 per game in the postseason. He played in 75 out of a possible 82 regular-season games, but missed two games in mid-April because of a sore right hip.

"You can play a full 82-game season and then you have a series and then eight days off and it's just, it's a roller coaster right now," Irving said. "But for me it's just remembering what I've done and the body of work I've put together and just get my body ready the best I can."