Heat F Derrick Jones Jr. exits game on stretcher after running into hard screen

Jack Baer
·2 min read
Miami Heat's Derrick Jones Jr is carried off the court on a stretcher after being injured against the Indiana Pacers during the second half of an NBA basketball game Monday, Aug. 3, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis, Pool)
Derrick Jones Jr. went down hard after running into a screen. (AP Photo/Ashley Landis, Pool)

On a day that meant little for the Miami Heat’s playoff position, the team might have lost a rotation player to a significant injury.

Heat forward Derrick Jones Jr. exited Friday’s game against the Indiana Pacers on a stretcher after running into a moving screen from big man Goga Bitadze. Jones stayed down for several minutes with an apparent neck injury.

Derrick Jones Jr. exits with neck injury

Jones was eventually given a neck brace and carried out by medical personnel on a stretcher.

The Heat later announced that Jones had suffered a neck strain after undergoing an MRI, CT scan and concussion test. Jones will be re-evaluated over the weekend, days before the team is set to face the Pacers in the first round of the NBA playoffs.

Jones had experienced the biggest moment of his professional career earlier this year with his controversial win in the 2020 NBA Slam Dunk Contest, besting Aaron Gordon in an overtime duel for the title. With the Heat, Jones was averaging 8.6 points and 4.0 rebounds per game entering Friday, ranking eighth among players currently on the team in minutes per game with 23.4.

The 44-29 Heat were already locked into facing the 45-28 Pacers in the first round, though Friday’s win gave the Pacers the No. 4 seed in the Eastern Conference and home-court advantage. Of course, home court is essentially meaningless in the NBA bubble, so staying healthy was the bigger priority.

Game 1 is scheduled for 4 p.m. ET on Tuesday.

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