It started with the All-Star, and afterward, he took all the blame.
Kyrie Irving said the Detroit Pistons' 117-99 dismantling of the Cavaliers on Friday night, an outing so bad that the Cleveland starters didn't play the entire fourth quarter, was a result of the point guard's ineffective and uninspired play that resulted in the same production from his teammates.
"Different things happened throughout the game kind of (ticked) me off and I just let it affect me," Irving said. "As the leader of this team, I can't. I take full responsibility for this."
Irving said it wasn't illness that contributed to his 4-for-10 shooting in 29 minutes, that he's mostly recovered from a virus that hit him early in the week.
He said it wasn't different calls from officials during the game that he let affect him.
"Just specific plays on the defensive and offensive end just kind of (ticked) me off," Irving said.
The point guard stopped short of saying the actual play of his teammates, who hit 39.8 percent from the field while allowing Detroit to sink 54 percent, was what pushed him to frustration and then to disinterest.
"My energy level, just different plays in the game were mind boggling for me," Irving continued.
So, too, was it mind-boggling for Cavaliers coach Byron Scott, who watched his team's uninspired play for the second game in a row -- directly after Cleveland's first three-game winning streak of the season.
Pistons dominate Cleveland Cavaliers, 117-99
Cleveland Plain Dealer | Feb 2