J.R. Smith played 26 minutes in the Cavs’ Game 3 win against the Raptors on Saturday. But according to Tyronn Lue, Smith was sick and wasn’t supposed to play at all.
“He missed shootaround, well, he came into shootaround he was sick yesterday and he wasn’t supposed to play but he came in and gave us his best effort, which is big,” Lue said.
No word on what illness Smith had, but he still played fairly well. He only took two shots in the game — missing both — but hounded Raptors All-Star DeMar DeRozan for the third straight game, leading to a 3-of-12 shooting night. He did, however, pick up four fouls.
After the game, Raptors coach Dwane Casey said that Toronto’s lineup switches in the fourth quarter — benching DeRozan for the entire quarter and finishing with Fred VanVleet alongside Kyle Lowry — contributed to Smith not having the same effectiveness he did in the first two games of the series. But maybe it was also the illness.
Smith is not listed on the injury report for Monday’s Game 4, so it appears whatever bug he had is behind him. There’s also no word if it kept him from golfing after he said he wanted to play 27 holes on Friday.