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Austin Carr's first season in the NBA was marred by a series of injuries that limited his output. During the 1971 preseason, he broke his foot and missed the first month of the season. Less than one month after returning to the court, he was sidelined again by another foot injury, missing another seven weeks.
Upon his return, he began to display the skills which made him the top selection in the NBA draft and, following the conclusion of his first season, had surgery to clear up any lingering foot problems.
The arrival of future Hall of Famer Lenny Wilkens prior to the start of the 1972-73 campaign gave Carr a solid partner in the backcourt, helping the Cavaliers improve by nine games in the win column.
Carr's best season came the following year, when he averaged a career-best 21.9 points, 3.6 rebounds and 3.76 assists per game while shooting 85.6% from the three-throw line.
Two months into the 1974-75 season, he suffered a knee injury that put him out of the lineup indefinitely. His absence in the lineup likely prevented the Cavaliers' from capturing their first-ever playoff berth, with the team's bid falling one game short.
However, during the next three seasons, Carr played a role in three straight playoff appearances for the team. Cleveland met the Boston Celtics in the 1976 Eastern Conference finals and lost in six games. They were eliminated in the first round of the 1977 playoffs by the Washington Bullets in a close three-game series. They were defeated in similar fashion in 1978, losing to the New York Knicks in two games.
Carr played out his final season with the Dallas Mavericks and Washington Bullets before retiring in 1981, finishing with career averages of 15.4 points, 2.9 rebounds and 2.8 assists per game.
Carr's #34 is one of six jerseys retired by the Cavaliers.