George Hill — Indiana’s starting point guard who has given them 14 points a game these playoffs and is another long defender in their scheme — is out for the Pacers Thursday night in Game 5 against the Knicks due to a concussion, the team announced (via Mike Wells of the Indy Star).
Hill took an incidental elbow to the head from Tyson Chandler in the first quarter Game 4, but it didn’t seem that bad at the time and no foul was called. Hill played 30 minutes after that incident and hit 9-of-14 shots as the Pacers won went up 3-1 in the series.
D.J. Augustin will get the start for Indiana. Look for a little Lance Stevenson at the point as well, we’ll see if Born Ready is up for it.
This is a blow to the Pacers. Hill is a long defender that was giving Raymond Felton and the other Knicks guards issues — he helped keep them out of the lane and with that the Pacers defense was a wall. Augustin isn’t the same defender and if Felton is getting into the paint the Knicks are going to start getting better looks.
Then we’ll see if they can knock them down. But this is a potentially big development and a break for the Knicks.
As for Hill’s return, the league has a concussion policy in place and that means to be cleared to play he has to pass a series of tests after increasing physical exertion. The Pacers team doctor has to consult with a league neurologist before the player can be cleared.
This sure didn’t look like just another game for Kevin Durant – and not only because the Thunder beat the Warriors for the first time since he left.
The 108-91 Oklahoma City victory didn’t look like just another game for Russell Westbrook (34 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists and four steals), either.
With the shot clock off in the fourth quarter and the game tied, Grizzlies big JaMychal Green put back Tyreke Evans‘ miss with a clutch flush. There’s a very fine line between ensuring the last shot and leaving time for an offensive rebound, and Memphis threated it almost perfectly.
Emphasis on “almost.”
The Grizzlies left the Mavericks 0.5 seconds, which Harrison Barnes used to bank in a 3-pointer – off a pinpoint bounce pass by Dennis Smith Jr. – to give Dallas a 95-94 win.
The Celtics didn’t have another comeback in them.
After overcoming a 13-point fourth-quarter deficit against the Mavericks on Monday to extend its winning streak to 16 games, Boston lost to the Heat tonight, 104-98. The streak ends as the NBA’s longest since the Hawks won 19 straight during the 2014-15 season.
The Celtics trailed Miami by 16 in the fourth quarter then cut the deficit to only one with three minutes left. But Dion Waiters hit back-to-back 3-pointers, helping the Heat pull away.
Goran Dragic (27 points) and Waiters (26 points) led Miami, which needed a reason to feel good after losing three of four to fall to 7-9.
The Celtics, on the other hand, still have a four-game cushion over the rest of the Eastern Conference. This might help them regain focus.