Along with his "July 1st" comment, Irving also mentioned that he acknowledges the New York Knicks "positioning themselves for this summer and respects the organization", but that "obviously Boston's still at the head of that race", per Jay King of The Athletic. Knicks fans chanted "We Want Kyrie!" during the second half of the game - a reference to their desire for the Knicks to sign the point guard over the summer. "I'm just going to do what's best for me".
That amount of cap space is enough for the Knicks to accommodate two maximum-salary free agents, a perfectly-timed luxury ahead of a free agency period that is expected to include some of the best players in the league. "I was just happy to get it done with".
The new players weren't available, so the Knicks started with a backcourt of Dotson and Kadeem Allen.
The NBA's Most Valuable Player had a hard night; during one stretch, he missed 10 of 11 shots and four free throws as he finished nine of 21 from the field. NY has now the worst record in the National Basketball Association, but the future could be a lot rosier than the present. He was recovering from a serious hip injury at the time.
"Paul George, tonight, was tremendous", Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said.
Ricky Rubio added 22 points and 11 assists, and Joe Ingles chipped in 19 points, seven rebounds, and five assists.
Kelly Olynyk scored 21, Josh Richardson scored 18 and Hassan Whiteside finished with 12 points and 16 rebounds in the loss.
In Denver, the Nuggets almost kept the red-hot James Harden to under 30 points as they beat Houston 136-122 to end a nine-game losing streak against the Rockets.
Keep up to date with all of the latest:tag: news!
Harden's streak started with a 50-point night against the Los Angeles Lakers on December 13, and almost ended on a hard shooting game for the reigning league MVP.
Kemba Walker led the Hornets with 23 points, and Malik Monk scored 20, including 10 straight Hornets points at one stretch in the fourth quarter.