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Ricky Rubio Won't Play Game 4 vs. Rockets with Hamstring Injury

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMay 6, 2018

SALT LAKE CITY, UT - APRIL 23:  Ricky Rubio #3 of the Utah Jazz handles the ball against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game Four of Round One of the 2018 NBA Playoffs on April 23, 2018 at vivint.SmartHome Arena in Salt Lake City, Utah. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)
Garrett Ellwood/Getty Images

Utah Jazz point guard Ricky Rubio will miss Sunday's game against the Houston Rockets while nursing a hamstring injury, the team announced.

ESPN's Tim MacMahon reported Saturday that Rubio had been upgraded to questionable for Game 4 and that the Jazz were "optimistic" he'd play. The 27-year-old hasn't stepped on the court since exiting Game 6 of Utah's first-round series against the Oklahoma City Thunder after playing seven minutes.

Even with a healthy Rubio, the Jazz would have their hands full against the top-seeded Rockets. Without him, Utah's odds of advancing dwindle even further.

Rubio averaged 14.0 points, 7.0 assists and 1.3 steals in the first round. He helped take some of the offensive burden off Donovan Mitchell and provided invaluable perimeter defending against Russell Westbrook.

His absence has been especially notable on offense, since Mitchell has been forced to shoulder even more of the team's workload. Mitchell's scoring average has dropped from 28.5 in the first round to 16.0 against Houston, while his turnovers have climbed slightly from 2.7 to 3.3.

Should the Jazz fall to the Rockets on Sunday and slip to a 3-1 deficit, Rubio's availability over the rest of the series may be of little consequence.

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