After their 10-game run ended Tuesday against San Antonio, the Nets expect to have their second-leading scorer back on the court when they face the Memphis Grizzlies at FedExForum.
Jefferson, averaging 18.5 points, played only two minutes of Sunday’s 105-104 victory at Toronto before leaving with back spasms, then sat out Tuesday’s 96-91 loss to the Spurs. The defeat was New Jersey’s first since Dec. 14.
Vince Carter picked up the slack for the Nets with 42 points against the Raptors and had 34 against San Antonio, but Jefferson’s presence was sorely missed against the defending champions.
Jefferson practiced with the team Wednesday and said he plans to play against the Grizzlies.
Carter, who averaged 33.5 points during the win streak, had just 19 points with seven minutes remaining Tuesday. But he scored 15 during a 22-13 run as the Nets nearly extended their longest win streak since a franchise-record 14 in a row from Jan. 25-Feb. 24, 2004.
“We couldn’t score on the other end,” said Jason Kidd, who had 15 points and six assists. “They made their free throws while we were struggling on the offensive end. They just built up a lead that we couldn’t come back from. We didn’t quit … we played hard and gave ourselves a chance.”
New Jersey, looking to snap a four-game skid against Memphis, is 1-1 on a tough four-game road trip that ends against Dallas on Saturday.
The Grizzlies won their fifth straight home game and sixth in their last seven overall Tuesday, 99-85 over Sacramento.
Mike Miller came off the bench to post the first triple-double of his career, and first for the franchise since it moved from Vancouver, with 21 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists.
Despite a sore foot, Miller was 8-of-16 from the field and 4-of-9 from 3-point range, becoming the first reserve with a triple-double since Shawn Bradley had one for Dallas in April 1998.
Miller said he wasn’t aware of his numbers until grabbing his eighth rebound.
“Those were the hardest two rebounds I’ve ever had to get,” he said. “It felt really good once I got that final rebound. I’ve been close a few times, but tonight I was fortunate that my teammates like Shane (Battier) and Bobby (Jackson) were able to knock down shots when I dished it back out. That definitely helps your chances at getting a triple-double.”
Memphis hasn’t lost at home since a Dec. 19 defeat to Detroit.