MIAMI, FL - APRIL 20: Nicolas Batum #5 of the Charlotte Hornets defends the ball against the Miami Heat during Game Two of the Eastern Conference Quarterfinals during the 2016 NBA Playoffs on April 20, 2016 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. (
AP Photo
April 24, 2016

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) Hornets forward Nicolas Batum hasn't ruled himself out for Game 4 of Charlotte's first-round playoff series against the Miami Heat on Monday night.

Batum missed Game 3 with a strained left foot. The Hornets won 96-80 on Saturday night to pull the series to 2-1.

Batum walked around at practice Sunday, his left foot heavily taped, and shot some mid-range jumpers.

Batum said the ankle has improved and some of the swelling has subsided since he injured it in Game 2. ''I hope (I can play), but I really can't say yes or no,'' he said. ''I don't know how I'm going to feel (Monday). I am doing everything I can to be back as soon as possible.''

Batum is averaging 16.5 points, 4.5 rebounds and 2.0 assists in the playoffs.

On Miami's side, center Hassan Whiteside sat out practice Sunday with a bruised right thigh as a precautionary measure. Whiteside said he took either a knee or an elbow to the thigh on a pick and roll during the fourth quarter Saturday night and that he was sore.

However, he is receiving treatment and believes he will be ready to play in Game 4.

''I'm a pretty tough guy,'' Whiteside said with a smile.

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