Kyrie Irving leaves game, returns

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Cleveland Cavaliers guard Kyrie Irving left Thursday night's game against the Oklahoma City Thunder after colliding with Russell Westbrook, but returned to start the second half.

Irving crumpled to the floor as his left knee appeared to bend inward after making contact with Westbrook's knee while the Thunder guard was on his descent from a jump shot.

"I definitely felt something buckle," Irving said after the game. "I was just really scared, but ... the biggest thing when something happens like that, is opening up your eyes and just realizing everything is going to be all right, no matter what the verdict is.

"So I just had to get my bearings together. It was a scary play. I still don't want to look at it. I won't look at it. I'll be all right, though."

The game was stopped as Irving was surrounded on the floor by the entire Cavs roster and coaching staff before being helped up and off the court to the locker room by Anderson Varejao and team trainer Steve Spiro with 1:31 remaining in the first half.

Irving was diagnosed with a left knee contusion at halftime, but emerged from the locker room with his team for second-half warm-ups. He was greeted with well-wishes from several members of the Thunder as he took practice shots, jumped in place and ran sprints from the baseline to half court.

"I was just really hoping that nothing was torn because when it happened, I felt something," Irving said afterward. "We did all the tests [in the locker room], and I was just thankful and truly blessed by God that I had nothing serious happen. But honestly it's something ... I won't even go that route. I'm just glad I'm all right."

The Cavs would go on to lose 103-94, ending their eight-game winning streak. Irving said he expects to play Friday at New Orleans.

"Definitely [the knee] is going to stiffen up, without a doubt, but I plan on playing tomorrow," he said. "It just depends on how it feels in the morning, but as of right now, I'm going to gut it out no matter what."