Grant Hill Update
903 mens national championships Jan 15, 1:04 p.m.
My favorite Blue Devil of all time is back.
About 45 minutes before the Clippers played the Orlando Magic on Saturday at Staples Center, Grant Hill put a brace on his right knee and a white sleeve to cover it.
He then laced up his sneakers, a smile crossing his face because Hill was finally going to play in his first regular-season game after missing the first 36 because of a bone bruise in his right knee.
Hill played six minutes, 25 seconds. He missed all three of his field goals, but scored two points on two free throws in the 104-101 loss to the Magic.
"It was definitely good to get out there and play," Hill said. "I wasn't sure if was going to play or not."
Hill had not played in a game since Oct. 14, an exhibition game in China against the Miami Heat.
He checked into the game at the start of the fourth quarter to a standing ovation. He missed his first shot, a 15-footer. He scored his first two points of the season on free throws with 9:39 left in the game.
Hill is an 18-year veteran, but he admitted to feeling tension at home before the game and even before he checked into the game.
"When Vinny called my number, I was really nervous," Hill said of Coach Vinny Del Negro. "But I think that's part of it. You're always nervous.
"But the most important thing is that my knee felt good. My legs were a little heavy, but as long as you put together consecutive days and consecutive weeks of health, then the basketball, the timing and all that comes. I passed the test today. It wasn't great, but at least I passed."
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