J.R. Smith,Richard Jefferson
Cleveland Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith, left, and forward Richard Jefferson (24) sit next to empty chairs on the bench in the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Memphis Grizzlies, Wednesday, Dec. 14, 2016, in Memphis, Tenn. (AP Photo/Brandon Dill)
MILWAUKEE — J.R. Smith underwent tests on his injured right thumb that were “inconclusive,” according to the Cavs, and their starting shooting guard will undergo further evaluation when he returns to Cleveland Wednesday.
So things don’t sound particularly good, nor did they look it, for Smith after he apparently suffered the injury late in the second quarter of Cleveland’s 114-108 overtime win over the Milwaukee Bucks.
Smith’s status for Wednesday’s home game against the Bucks is uncertain, but he sat on a training table in the back of Cleveland’s locker room following the game with his right hand tucked inside his jacket.
Per the team’s media relations department, the team took “images” of Smith’s thumb and the results were not conclusive. Smith was called for two fouls on Giannis Antetokounmpo late in the second quarter; the injury likely occurred on one of them when he swiped at the ball on Antetokounmpo’s way to the hoop.
Cavs beat Bucks in OT
Coach Tyronn Lue said before Tuesday’s game that he had no update on Kevin Love, who wasn’t with the team in Milwaukee because of a bruised left knee. And the Cavs lost reserve big man Chris “Bird Man” Andersen for the season to a torn ACL on Friday.
“A gutsy performance,” Lue said of the Cavs’ win, minus two starters. “J.R. being out, and Kevin out, just continue to keep fighting. They made a shot to send it into overtime and just to have the composure to come back and win that game was a good thing for us.”
Smith has missed five games this season with minor ankle and knee injuries. He’s averaging 8.6 points and shooting 36.2 percent from 3-point range this season — year 1 of a four-year, $57 million deal.
The Cavs play the Golden State Warriors on Christmas. Heading into that game without Smith to guard Klay Thompson would not be ideal.