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NBA notebook: Warriors’ Lee eyes return for playoffs

Associated Press

Golden State Warriors power forward David Lee says he has damage in the nerve that connects from his back to his right hamstring but hopes to be back for the playoffs — if not sooner.

Lee participated in some of Wednesday’s light practice, working up a sweat on his shirt before shooting free throws during the portion open to reporters.

He has missed six straight games and was expected to sit out again tonight against Denver.

Lee says there is no timetable for his return from the injury, which the team initially called a strained hamstring. Lee said he continued to feel pain in his leg and two MRI exams showed the irritated nerve.

Coach Mark Jackson said versatile forward Draymond Green will continue to start in Lee’s place. But he hopes for the team and for Lee — who made the playoffs for the first time in eight years in the NBA last season — that his starting power forward can suit up when it matters most. Lee’s injury occurred in the fourth quarter of Golden State’s loss to San Antonio on March 22.

STARTERS RESTING — The slumping Indiana Pacers rested all five starters Wednesday night against Milwaukee, even as they chase the No. 1 seed in the Eastern Conference.

Coach Frank Vogel told reporters at the Pacers’ shootaround that none of his top five had worked out and they would all sit out the game. He said it’s a chance for Paul George, David West, Roy Hibbert, George Hill and Lance Stephenson to get some minor injuries healed, and for his reserves to play extended minutes.

LEBRON LOOKING? — The New York Daily News reported that the Miami Heat’s LeBron James “will look at” the Knicks if he chooses to postpone free agency a year until the summer of 2015. Another report said that James is happy in South Florida and expects Cleveland to be the only other team he would consider if he opts out this summer, with the Heat the front-runner to keep him.

AROUND THE LEAGUE — The Minnesota Timberwolves were playing the Chicago Bulls without injured starters Nikola Pekovic and Kevin Martin and reserves Chase Budinger and Shabazz Muhammad. The Wolves signed guard/forward Othyus Jeffers for the rest of the season. Jeffers was with the Wolves during training camp, but spent most of the season with Iowa Energy of the D-League. ... Houston Rockets’ center Doug Howard is nursing a sprained left ankle. ... Los Angeles Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak agreed to a multiyear contract extension.


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