George Hill Questionable for Game 4 After MRI on Back Injury Shows Nothing Major

Kyle Newport@@KyleNewportFeatured ColumnistApril 22, 2018

Cleveland Cavaliers' George Hill drives against the Indiana Pacers in the first half of Game 1 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Sunday, April 15, 2018, in Cleveland. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak)
Tony Dejak/Associated Press

Cleveland Cavaliers guard George Hill is questionable for Sunday's Game 4 against the Indiana Pacers after a back injury caused him to miss the end of Friday's Game 3.

According to Yahoo Sports' Shams Charania, an MRI "revealed nothing major," and Hill will continue to receive treatment for back spasms.

Hill played a major role in Cleveland's 17-point halftime lead in Game 3, scoring nine of his team's first 12 points. However, he was limited to just two points in nine minutes in the second half as his back injury flared up. He finished the game with 13 points in 23 minutes as the Cavaliers collapsed without him, falling behind in the series 2-1 with the 92-90 loss.

The 31-year-old point guard averaged 9.4 points on 44.4 percent shooting and 2.8 assists in 24 games after a midseason trade that brought him to Cleveland. He had received an increase in minutes as the opening-round series went on, averaging 8.7 points and 1.7 assists.

If Hill is unable to go in Game 4, the Cavaliers will have to turn to Jordan Clarkson and Jose Calderon, who entered this postseason with 24 career playoff games combined. Hill had 83 by himself.

Cleveland put up 57 points in the first half on Friday with Hill leading the offense. Over the final two quarters, though, the team scored just 33 points. Clarkson went just 1-of-4 from the floor in 20 minutes and Calderon did not play.

Staring at the possibility of going down 3-1 with a road game in Indianapolis on Sunday, the Cavaliers have to be hoping Hill (a 41.5 percent three-point shooter this season) will be healthy enough to give it a go. If he can't, LeBron James will face even more pressure to carry the load on offense the way he did in the fourth quarter on Friday, when his teammates combined to score three points over the final 9:16.

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