Mavericks star guard Kyrie Irving scored 14 points in his return from a 12-game absence due to a right heel contusion but wasn't able to help Dallas overcome Utah in a 127-90 loss to the Jazz on Monday night.

Irving played 32 minutes in his first game back since being sidelined after injuring his heel against Portland on Dec. 8. He added 9 rebounds and 4 assists and was 6-of-14 from the field.

Irving admitted feeling a nervous in his first game back.

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"It's my first time in my career I've had this type of injury and it was unique and I wasn't sure how long I was going to be out," Irving said. "There was no structural damage done to it, but it was, achy, and I don't want to say (I was) humbled, but you realize that the injury is a lot more significant when you can't get your other shoe on."

Mavs coach Jason Kidd had told reporters in Salt Lake City before the game that Irving would not have a minutes restriction.

The Mavs went 6-6 during the stretch without Irving. Perennial All-Star guard Luka Doncic averaged 38.0 points, 8.5 rebounds and 10.5 assists in 39.4 minutes per game during Irving's absence. Doncic sat out two of the losses as the Mavs managed soreness in his left quadriceps and concerns about his heavy workload.

Irving has averaged 23.0 points and 5.2 assists in 17 games this season. The Mavs were 10-7 with Irving in the lineup prior to Monday night's game.

Irving's three-year, $120 million contract also includes a pair of annual $1 million incentives -- for playing 65 games and for playing at least 58 games if the Mavs get 50 wins.