Saturday, January 12, 2013
Clips' Grant Hill makes debut
By Arash Markazi
LOS ANGELES -- Grant Hill made his regular-season debut for the Los Angeles Clippers in their 104-101 loss to the Orlando Magic on Saturday.
Hill was greeted with a standing ovation by the sold-out crowd of 19,060 at Staples Center as soon as he checked into the game to start the fourth quarter.
The seven-time All-Star missed the first 36 games of the season with bone bruises in his right knee. He had not played since Oct. 13, when he had eight points and three rebounds in an exhibition game against Miami in Shanghai.
Hill finished the game with two points and two rebounds in 6 minutes and was 0 for 3 from the field.
"When Vinny (Del Negro, Clippers coach) called my number, I was really nervous," Hill said. "But that's part of it, the butterflies. It's still kind of new, getting out there and playing with this team. The most important thing is that my knee felt good. My legs were a little heavy. But I passed the test."
Hill, who returned to practice this week, began the fourth quarter with a second unit that now consists of Eric Bledsoe, Jamal Crawford, Matt Barnes, Lamar Odom. The return of Hill and Odom seeing more time at center likely will mean fewer minutes for Ronny Turiaf and Ryan Hollins.
The Clippers are also hoping to see Chauncey Billups return to practice next week and return to the lineup by the end of the month. Billups has only played in three games this season as he deals with tendinitis in his left foot.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.