Nikola Jovic neared a double-double in return from injury in G League
Miami Heat rookie Nikola Jovic returned from a two-month absence on Monday and registered a double-digit-scoring outing on assignment in the G League with the Sioux Falls Skyforce.
Jovic produced 12 points, nine rebounds, four assists and two blocked shots in a 135-133 win on the road over the South Bay Lakers. He finished by shooting 3-of-7 from the field, including 2-of-3 from 3-point range, in 25 minutes of action.
The 27th pick looked comfortable on the court and neared a double-double in the process. He made plays on both ends of the court and had some highlight-reel plays.
👀 Niko's court vision 👀@Jovic_5 ➡️ @ImMarcusGarrett pic.twitter.com/eS3qej4dvV
— Sioux Falls Skyforce (@SFSkyforce) March 7, 2023
Jovic last played on Dec. 31 with the Skyforce, recording four points and three rebounds in 26 minutes. He was diagnosed with a lower back stress reaction on Jan. 3 and was ruled out for at least a month. He was eventually cleared to return and suited up on Monday.
Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra on Monday said the team would like to keep Jovic with the Skyforce for as long as possible to allow him the opportunity to log extended minutes.
“He just needs to play,” Spoelstra said. “That is the most important thing. Physically, he feels much better. He has done all of the drill work, all of the player development. He needs 5-on-5 and as many practices (as he can). There are not a ton of games left but all of that will be important to set up his offseason.”
The appearance by Jovic was his seventh with the Skyforce.
He is averaging 7.7 points, 7.3 rebounds and 3.7 assists on 27% shooting from the field with Sioux Falls. He finished in double figures for only the second time on Monday and was just shy of matching his season high of 13 points on Dec. 12.
The Skyforce return to play with the Lakers again on Wednesday.
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