JR Smith Credits Therapy Dog for Breakout Game

Cavs guard JR Smith hung out with a therapy dog prior to Wednesday night’s game in Charlotte, and it proved to be just what he needed to score 19 points (on 8-of-9 shooting) off the bench in Cleveland’s 118-105 win against the Hornets.

My new best friend #Remington from #UNC

A post shared by JR Smith (@teamswish) on

Smith said the pooch took his “mind off the game” and made him feel better.

JR added that his new fury friend—REMINGTON is a fully trained service dog, meant to help players deal emotionally when recovering from an injury or the stress of the game—provided the emotional support he required.

Per Cleveland.com:

“For me, it was exactly what I needed,” Smith said. “Took my mind off the game so it could make me feel better.”

Smith didn’t say what’s been getting him down. It may have nothing to do with basketball, but Smith (who’s been moved to the bench for the rest of the season and has struggled for large swaths of the year), had two quiet games before his Charlotte outburst, combining for just six points on Sunday and Tuesday.

“I’m an emotional person,” Smith said. “I’m (inaudible) In my head. I don’t really express a lot of things. Let’s just say it was right on time.”