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Nets without Kyrie Irving at least next 2 games

NEW YORK — The Brooklyn Nets will continue to soldier on without All-Star guard Kyrie Irving for at least the next two games, coach Kenny Atkinson said after practice on Tuesday.

Atkinson said Irving, who has missed the last nine games due to a right shoulder impingement, will stay behind and continue to rehab while the team travels to Atlanta and Charlotte this week.

“I think I used to get frustrated more,” Atkinson said of Irving’s slow recovery. “I’ve had my moments of frustration because I want him back so bad. But you hear our performance staff and then you talk to Kyrie and then you get your mind to a place where that’s the smartest thing to do.”

Irving has been able to resume on-court activities. He has not been able to do any contact drills — a necessary hurdle to clear before he is able to play in a game.

Spencer Dinwiddie has started in Irving’s place. Dinwiddie, who had been the Nets’ sixth man, has averaged 25 points per game in Irving’s absence. When he was coming off the bench earlier this season, Dinwiddie averaged 17 points per game.

The Nets are 6-3 without Irving and have an overall record of 10-10. The Nets first game after their road trip is Dec. 8 against the Nuggets in Brooklyn.

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