The 28-year-old guard was inactive earlier this week with lower back tightness, but was upgraded from probable to available this morning. Irving's last appearance came on Monday, on the front end of a back-to-back, against the Sacramento Kings. He scored 40 points on 15-of-22 from the floor and 9-for-11 from beyond the arc.
Getting Irving back for a primetime match-up with the Lakers will give Brooklyn a huge boost. The Nets will go into their fourth straight road game on a four-game win streak. Since the addition of James Harden, Brooklyn has shot up the Eastern conference standings, proving to be a clear title contender.
However, the Nets new "Big Three" still hasn't seen much time on the court together. The trio of Irving, Durant and Harden has played just seven games together do to a variety of circumstances. With nagging injuries, Irving's seven-game hiatus for mental health reasons and Harden's late season addition, Brooklyn still doesn't have a clear picture of what their team will be later this summer.
When the three have played together, the Nets boast a historically talented offense. Despite struggles on the defensive end, Brooklyn seems equipped to outscore any other team in the league. The Nets will be tested on Thursday night by LeBron James and the reigning NBA champion Lakers. Los Angeles looks as strong as ever, even without Anthony Davis, starting off 22-7 in pursuit of defending their title. The Lakers have won six of their last seven games. Irving will go toe-to-toe with his former teammate LeBron in Staples Center on Thursday night with tip coming at 10 p.m. ET. The game will air on TNT. [
The Nets say Kyrie Irving is available to play the Lakers tonight.
— Marc Stein (@TheSteinLine) February 18, 2021