Cavaliers lose guard JR Smith with left knee injury

NBA.com Staff

The Cavs suddenly aren’t so concerned about the surging Toronto Raptors as they are about the injured JR Smith.

He suffered a leg injury during the Cavs-Raptors game and his return was immediately ruled out. The extent of his injury wasn’t immediately known but the injury appeared somewhat serious.

The Cavaliers said in a statement: “Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith experienced a left knee injury during the first quarter of the Cavaliers game in Toronto vs. the Raptors tonight. He did not return to play. X-rays taken at the arena were negative. Smith will travel back to Cleveland tomorrow and receive additional examination, imaging and evaluation at Cleveland Clinic Sports Health over the next 24 hours. His status will be updated following that.”

The Cavs managed to navigate last season without any serious injury issues, one reason why they managed to win a title. The year before, they lost Kyrie Irving for all but the first game of the Finals and subsequently lost to the Warriors in six.

Smith was a crucial piece of the Cavs’ championship team and their best perimeter defender, in addition to supplying three-point shooting. He signed a contract extension this fall after missing a portion of training camp due to a holdout.

Cleveland entered the game on a three-game losing streak while the Raptors leap-frogged the pack in the East to assume the No. 2 position in the conference. The two met last year in the conference finals and Cleveland prevailed.