LeBron gets treatment on knee
ATLANTA -- LeBron James received extensive treatment on his right knee Friday night after he injured it during a collision with forward Josh Smith during the Miami Heat's victory over the Atlanta Hawks.
The team is listing James as day to day. Miami is scheduled to practice Saturday afternoon in Memphis, the second stop on the Heat's six-game road trip that started with Friday's 95-89 win against the Hawks.
James and Smith banged knees in the final minute of the first half when they ran into one another near the Heat's basket to pursue a loose ball. James then stumbled out of bounds under the basket and ran into a photographer. He emerged from the collisions with a severe limp and headed to the locker room with 30 seconds left in the half.
James was treated at halftime for the injury, but returned to finish the game. He nearly posted a triple double, with 21 points, 11 rebounds and nine assists in 36 minutes. James favored the injury throughout the second half and had both knees wrapped in ice after the game. An electronic stimulation device was also attacked to his right knee.
"It bothered me a little bit, but it is what it is," James said. "It's a little sore right now. It's never a good feeling. The plane won't help it. For sure, that won't help it. But I guess we'll just have to play it by the day."
The Heat already were dealing with the absence of star guard Dwyane Wade, who missed Friday's game with a cold and remained at the team hotel. With Friday's win, Miami improved to 14-4 in games Wade has missed since the start of last season. Chris Bosh led the Heat with 24 points, and Ray Allen scored 17 off the bench.
Heat coach Erik Spoelstra said he believes James may feel even more soreness on Saturday, but did not address the reigning MVP's status for Sunday's game against the Grizzlies. Miami then travels to play Houston on Monday before completing the trip next week with games against the Los Angeles Clippers, Denver and Phoenix.
Spoelstra said he initially wasn't sure how hurt James was after the collision, or whether he would finish the game.
"Yeah, I was concerned," Spoelstra said. "Anytime he goes down and comes up limping like that, it concerns me. But he has an unusually quick way of healing."
James will be re-evaluated Saturday after another round of treatment. He said sitting out the second half Friday night never crossed his mind. After resting the first six minutes of the fourth quarter, James came back into the game and made a jumper over DeShawn Stevenson to push the Heat's lead to 93-89 with 13 seconds left in the game, a shot that essentially sealed the win and improved Miami to 5-1.
"It hurt at the time, but I knew I would get through it," James said of the injury. "I know it's just like a little stinger. One thing about me: If I get injured, it's going to take a lot for me to not go back out there with my teammates."
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