Nets' Jefferson has bone bruise in ankle
An MRI exam was performed on Jefferson's ankle Tuesday, and was negative -- as was an X-ray taken shortly after he was injured during the third quarter of New Jersey's 100-88 win in the series opener Monday night.
With Jefferson, the Nets cruised to a huge lead in Game 1 over the Heat. Without him, what was a 28-point margin was whittled to nine by Miami in the final minutes.
"Just a sprained ankle," Jefferson said. "It's feeling better. No swelling, more just like a bruise. There's still tenderness but every few hours, it feels like it gets better."
Jefferson walked into the arena Tuesday without crutches, but with a walking boot. He did not participate in the team's off-day practice, yet has not been formally ruled out for Game 2.
"We'll see where Richard's at tomorrow," Nets coach Lawrence Frank said before practice. "He's not out. Regardless, we have a lot of faith in the guys in our locker room. You only take the court for one reason, and that reason is to win the game, regardless of who you have out there."
Jefferson hit his first four shots in Game 1, helping push New Jersey to a quick 18-5 lead. He finished with 20 points in 23 minutes on 7-for-11 shooting.
If he cannot go on Wednesday, the Nets will probably turn to Lamond Murray, who had eight points in 34 minutes in the opener.
"RJ's a competitor, so he'll do whatever he can do to help the team," Nets guard Jason Kidd said. "He's not going to go out there and hurt himself or the team. First, we have to make sure that if he does go, that he's ready to go."
Neither Jefferson nor Frank seemed to subscribe to the notion that since the Nets already won Game 1 -- and took home-court advantage away from the Heat -- that New Jersey would be better served by resting Jefferson on Wednesday and not even thinking about him trying to play.
"You don't want to give any one game away," Jefferson said. "If you have an opportunity to play, you try, but you also have to understand that you try not to jeopardize later games."
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press
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