Kyrie Irving returns for Cavaliers

CLEVELAND -- Cavaliers All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving returned to the court Friday night after missing three games with a sprained right ankle, starting in Cleveland's 108-102 loss to Dallas.

He led all Cavaliers scorers with 23 points.

"I thought he looked great," Cleveland coach David Blatt said after the game. "The mere fact that he's out there playing the minutes that he played and at the speed that he played and that he competed well on defense was really a good sign. Kyrie, he's a special player and a special guy, and you've all had the fortune of seeing him for a while and thank goodness he's going to be around here for a long while, because he's special. He really is."

Irving had his ankle stepped on by teammate Anderson Varejao in practice early last week and didn't play in Brazil when Cleveland faced the Miami Heat.

Kevin Love did not play against the Mavericks as Blatt opted to rest him after he suited up in the team's first four preseason games. He was bothered by a stiff neck after a collision in Wednesday night's game in Cincinnati.

LeBron James had 12 points and four assists in 26 minutes. James said after the game that he'll play Monday and sit out the Cavs' preseason finale Wednesday.

"My schedule has always kind of been as planned: play, [then] sit out," James said. "I plan on playing on Monday and then sit out the last game. We definitely want to get some work. We've had work in practice, but you want to get some work in the game situation, but the rhythm for us three is going to have to come throughout the regular season anyways, even with preseason games -- if we'd have played all seven together -- we still need to go through things throughout the regular season to see what we like, what we don't like as a unit. So it's not concerning. I think more than anything, being healthy going into the regular season and figuring it out on the fly is better."

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.