Knicks JR Smith plays through illness vs. Pacers

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INDIANAPOLIS (AP) - Knicks guard J.R. Smith played against the Pacers in Game 3 on Saturday night after being iffy to go because of an illness.

Smith, the NBA’s top sixth man, entered the game late in the first quarter and missed his first two shots — both came up short.

Coach Mike Woodson said during his pregame availability that Smith would warm up before a decision would be made. Smith missed the Knicks morning shootaround after spiking a 102-degree fever, but Woodson said the temperature came down throughout the day.

If Smith is effective, he could have a big impact in a series that is tied at 1.

Smith averaged 18.1 points and 5.3 rebounds during the regular season and won the NBA’s Sixth Man Award. But his playoff numbers are down to 14.4 points and 4.7 rebounds, and he’s just 7 of 30 from the field in the first two games against Indiana.

Amare Stoudemire also was active for the game and entered in the second quarter. He has not played in more than two months after having surgery on his right knee.

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