• Charlotte Bobcats center Al Jefferson’s right ankle flared up, and he missed Friday’s game against the Cleveland Cavaliers after starring in a victory over the Boston Celtics.
The team practiced in Boston Thursday then flew to Cleveland late afternoon. Jefferson’s ankle was sore when the team flight landed and he couldn’t participate in Friday morning shootaround. No call on whether he’d be available versus the Miami Heat Saturday.
• The big talk pre-game in Cleveland was whether point guard Kyrie Irving would need to play in a mask after fracturing his nose in a game against the Minnesota Timberwolves. Irving played with a clear mask and it didn’t appear to bother him. He’s had a variety of injuries in two-plus NBA seasons, including a broken hand suffered in a summer-league practice.
Bobcats counterpart Kemba Walker has yet to miss an NBA game.
• Bobcats coach Steve Clifford was hired by now-Cavaliers coach Mike Brown as lead assistant when Brown was coaching the Lakers. That was after Stan Van Gundy was let go in Orlando, breaking up the staff Clifford worked on there.
I asked Brown what attracted him to Clifford. Rather than go technical, Brown started off, “He’s just a good person – a good man.”