By Fran Blinebury, NBA.com
HOUSTON — Pat Beverley’s recuperative powers continue to surprise even his teammates.
After the feisty point guard re-injured his right knee in a collision with Portland’s LaMarcus Aldridge with 1:04 left in overtime, most of the Rockets feared the worst.
But after an examination by team physician Dr. Walter Lowe Monday morning, Beverley has been cleared to play in Game 2 on Wednesday night against the Trail Blazers.
“I knew how I felt when I woke up this morning that I was OK,” Beverley said after going through practice with the team. “Hearing him agree with me was a blessing.
“I felt a real stiff little pain as far as the knee area where I hurt before. But I’m fortunate. I don’t know. I heal fast, I guess.
I woke up at home, tried to put some weight on it. Squat, it felt good. One leg jump, it felt good. Did this all at home. I just have an ability to heal.”
Beverley had torn the meniscus in his right knee on March 27 and missed eight games. He remained in the game Sunday night after banging into Aldridge on a pick, but hobbled off the court 20 seconds later after fouling out.
“Stoked,” said forward Chandler Parsons. “I didn’t see that coming. He never ceases to amaze me. I’m glad he’s healthy and went through practice today and hopefully he’ll be able to go Wednesday.
“Last night he was really shaken up and pretty much wasn’t walking, was really upset. I didn’t know what to think. I thought the worst.”
Center Dwight Howard expressed relief, both real and comical.
“I’m happy. Our prayers were answered,” Howard said. “He’s playing. I think he went home and just shook his leg a million times and whatever happened, it just popped right back into place. It’s amazing.”
The medical clearance means Beverley will be able to resume his head-to-head battle with Blazers point guard Damian Lillard, who shot 9-for-19, scored 31 points, grabbed nine rebounds and had five assists in the first playoff game of his career.
Lillard and Beverley have squabbled on and off the court this season. Lillard has complained about Beverley’s aggressive tactics and Beverley went on a Houston radio show in response and label Lillard “a whiner.”
“He raises the level of the game when he’s out there,” Lillard said on Monday. “I wish him the best. Hopefully, he’s healthy. When I know he’s subbing in and out of the game, I think they’re just a better team.”
When informed of Lillard’s comments, Beverley did a double-take and then smiled.
“I don’t know if he’s trying to use reverse psychology on me,” he said. “I don’t know how to take it.”