George Hill cleared to play for Pacers in Game 6

Indiana Pacers guard George Hill reacts after hitting Indiana Pacers guard George Hill reacts after hitting a shot and being fouled by the Knicks during the second half of Game 4 of the Eastern Conference semifinals. (May 14, 2013) Photo Credit: AP

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INDIANAPOLIS - Pacers point guard George Hill (concussion) was medically cleared to play in Game 6 Saturday night, a potential blow to the Knicks' chances of staging a comeback in this Eastern Conference semifinal series.

Hill, the Pacers' starting point guard, was a late scratch from Game 5 Thursday night because of the concussion he suffered two days earlier in Game 4. The Knicks took advantage of Hill's absence, forcing 19 turnovers.

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The Pacers said Hill was cleared Saturday afternoon after going through each step of the NBA's "Return-to-Participation Exertion Protocol" symptom-free. The Pacers said they also consulted with Dr. Jeffrey Kutcher, the NBA's director of concussion management, before clearing him to return to game action.

"We just did it by the book, everything the league asked for with the protocol," Pacers coach Frank Vogel said.

Hill averaged 17.3 points and 4.5 assists in the first four games of the series. The Pacers say he suffered a concussion when he bumped into Tyson Chandler on a screen in the second quarter of Game 4. He remained in the game and scored 26 points.

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