NBA

Korver to miss Cavaliers' meeting with Pistons

The Cleveland Cavaliers will play without one of their top shooters on Thursday night. It's possible they could have another returning to replace him.

Shooting guard Kyle Korver will miss the road game against the Detroit Pistons with left foot soreness.

"He knows his body, he knows if something's not right with the foot," associate head coach Larry Drew said on Wednesday to Cleveland.com. "If he feels any type of discomfort, we don't want him out there. We'll give him some days off and see how he feels after that."

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Fortunately for the Cavs, their starting shooting guard has made a swift recovery from a fractured right thumb. J.R. Smith practiced on Wednesday for the first time since he suffered the injury on Dec. 20. He's ahead of the original 12-14 week timetable for his return and is listed as questionable for Thursday's game.

"I've always pushed. In this situation, I kind of pushed myself to the limit," Smith told Cleveland.com. "When I was able to shoot and they told me not to dribble I was dribbling a little bit. Probably wasn't the smartest thing to do, but I know my body. Honestly, my confidence has gotten higher these last couple days."

Head coach Tyronn Lue is also a question mark. He missed the practice because of an illness.

It's been a strange and difficult week for the Cavaliers. Veteran center Andrew Bogut fractured his left tibia 58 seconds into his debut with the club on Monday. Bogut was signed as a free agent to fortify the Cavs' frontcourt. He was traded by Dallas to Philadelphia and then reached a buyout with the Sixers in late February.

"It's a tough moment," LeBron James said to the media following Monday's game. "We all were excited about the acquisition, you know, bring him in here. Him getting some games under his belt before the playoffs, but it's a tough one. Not only obviously for him, first of all, but then for our ball club."

Cleveland (42-20) has lost four of its last six games, including both ends of a back-to-back against streaking Miami on Saturday and Monday. Its status atop the Eastern Conference is a little more precarious, as Boston pulled within three games of the defending champions entering Wednesday's action.

The Pistons and Cavaliers have split their first two encounters this season, with each winning on their home floor. Cleveland has the advantage of playing Detroit (31-33) on the second end of a back-to-back. The Pistons lost on the road to Indiana, 115-98, on Wednesday night.

Detroit trailed virtually the entire game. The Pistons took a one-point lead early in the third before Indiana took complete control.

"We made some shots, got up one and then they just killed us," head coach Stan Van Gundy said. "I'm not putting anything into that (spurt). We played four good minutes."

The Pistons allowed the Pacers to shoot 50 percent from the field and only forced five turnovers. Their first unit was outscored by Indiana's starting five, 72-47. The backcourt of Reggie Jackson and Kentavious Caldwell-Pope combined for just eight points.

"We didn't defend at all," Van Gundy said. "They scored on anything they wanted. We didn't guard at all."

Detroit backup center Aron Baynes sprained his ankle and his status for Thursday's game is unclear.