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Shaun Livingston OK to play for Nets

Nets' Shaun Livingston shoots a free throw against

Nets' Shaun Livingston shoots a free throw against the Miami Heat during the first half of a preseason NBA basketball game at Barclays Center. (Oct. 17, 2013) Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

TORONTO -- The way out of the mess, the Nets keep saying, is to just stick with what you know you're supposed to do. Don't panic. Focus on your routine. For Shaun Livingston, that means being grateful just to be playing.

He is thankful every day and a bit more than usual Tuesday when he announced he was cleared to play Tuesday night. He played over 28 minutes and scored five points, had seven assists and grabbed six rebounds in a 102-100 win over the Raptors.

The news that he could play came despite the head injury he sustained Sunday and that put him among the who's who of Nets too injured to practice Monday. It was determined that his situation was only a contusion -- a bruise, in layman's terms -- and not a concussion.

"That was the biggest thing," Livingston said before the shootaround at Air Canada Centre. "I was just hoping it wasn't a concussion because with the new rules now, it's an automatic week [out of the lineup] regardless of how you feel."

At least the Nets (4-10) had that going for them against the Raptors, even though they still don't have Brook Lopez, Deron Williams, Andrei Kirilenko and Jason Terry. Despite all those injuries and the myriad weaknesses the Nets have displayed, Livingston has shown strength every day.

Every day is a bonus for a once promising point guard who missed almost all of two seasons and more than half of another early in his career because of a freakishly gruesome knee injury.

So he never wants to forfeit a day, let alone a week, which looked like a possibility when he collided with Detroit's Josh Smith on Sunday.

"I just got head butted. I took a head to the temple, kind of a UFC move. I just took a hard shot," he said. "I'm fine. No symptoms."

New York Sports