SALT LAKE CITY — Just when things were looking great for the Utah Jazz with point guard George Hill back and leading the team on a four-game winning streak, this happens.
Hill sprained his left big toe in Tuesday's game and will not be available for Thursday night’s game against the Miami Heat. Dante Exum is expected to start in Hill’s place with Shelvin Mack coming off the bench.
“He’s out, we’ve got to deal with the hand we’re dealt,” said Jazz coach Quin Snyder, who has dealt with myriad injuries in his two-plus years as the Jazz coach. “We’re in the same boat we’ve been in and would like to have everybody but we don’t, so we’ve got to figure out a way to maximize that opportunity.”
Since returning from a right thumb injury that kept him out for eight games, Hill has averaged 19.7 points on 52 percent shooting the past four games.
Snyder said he didn’t see the specific play in which Hill got injured, but said it happened later in the game against Houston on Tuesday night, which the Jazz won 120-101. The Jazz coach didn't know the timetable for Hill's return.
Besides Hill being out, the Jazz will still be missing Derrick Favors and Alec Burks and Rodney Hood, who left Tuesday’s game with a strained right hamstring and is questionable for Thursday’s game.
“Everybody has a little more responsibility and he’s been a huge part of our success this year,” said Gordon Hayward of Hill. “It’s unfortunate he’s injured again and we need to find a way to pick it up without him.”