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J.R. Smith, daughter both doing better

J.R. Smith

Cleveland Cavaliers’ J.R. Smith looks up to the scoreboard during an NBA basketball game against the Milwaukee Bucks Tuesday, Nov. 29, 2016, in Milwaukee. (AP Photo/Aaron Gash)


INDEPENDENCE, Ohio (AP) -- Cavaliers guard J.R. Smith has been out since Dec. 20 with a broken thumb, but he has ramped up his activity in recent weeks and finally took part in a full practice Wednesday for the first time.

It’s been a challenging season professionally and personally for Smith, whose daughter, Dakota, was born five months early and remains hospitalized. Smith said his baby has gained some weight and is doing better.

“This has probably been one of the tougher years, if not the toughest year for me, on and off the court,” he said. “Just part of the process I guess. I think it will just make the story better.”

Other ailments: Kyle Korver, Cleveland’s dead-eyed 3-point specialist, will miss at least one game with an injured left foot, and coach Tyronn Lue hasn’t shaken an ear/sinus infection that kept him home during Monday’s game and out of practice Wednesday.

“I talked to him last night,” said associate head coach Larry Drew, filling in for Lue. “He sounds a little bit better, but still he’s a little bit under the weather. We hope he can get well as soon as he can.”