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J.R. Smith feeling better, but misses 10th straight game

J.R. Smith of the New York Knicks looks

J.R. Smith of the New York Knicks looks on after a game against the Portland Trail Blazers at Madison Square Garden on December 7, 2014 in New York City. Credit: Getty Images / Alex Goodlett

PORTLAND, Ore. - J.R. Smith said his left foot is feeling better, but he remains limited and was in a walking boot after a pregame workout.

Smith missed his 10th consecutive game with a small partial tear of his left plantar fascia. He said he can't plant and has never experienced this kind of discomfort. "I can't take another step after planting,'' he said. "So that's the most frustrating part with it."

He isn't sure when he will return. It's unlikely it will be the last stop of this road trip Wednesday in Los Angeles against the Clippers unless he suddenly and miraculously feels better.

"It's just a matter of letting the muscle heal," Smith said. "If I don't, it will be easy to go back to Stage 1 and I'll be out even longer. As of right now, I'm not doing any movement really as far as running and sliding and stuff like that."

Center of attention

Cole Aldrich started for the fifth time in the last six games and continued to show that he deserves the minutes. The fifth-year center had a career-high 18 points in Saturday night's overtime loss to the Kings and a career-high 19 rebounds Sunday night. In the six games, he has averaged 11.3 points and 8.0 rebounds and has shot 62.5 percent (30-for-48).

"Playing hard is really what I try to do," Aldrich said. "If you play hard, most nights are going to be better than others."


Cleanthony Early, who had arthroscopic surgery on his right knee six weeks ago, was jumping and dunking Sunday but still hasn't been cleared for contact . . . Samuel Dalembert missed a game for the first time this season after spraining his right ankle against the Kings.

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