Miami • The long break between games in the Eastern Conference finals could be welcomed by Indiana, after Pacers guard Paul George was diagnosed Wednesday with a concussion that will force him to complete several NBA-mandated procedures before he can return to the matchup against the Miami Heat.
The series, now tied at a game apiece, doesn’t resume until Saturday night.
Eastern Conference finals
Series tied at 1-1
Sunday » Indiana 107, Miami 96
Tuesday » Miami 87, Indiana 83
Saturday » Indiana at Miami, 6:30 p.m.
Monday » Indiana at Miami, 6:30 p.m.
Wednesday » Miami at Indiana, 6:30 p.m.
x-Friday, May 30 » Indiana at Miami, 6:30 p.m.
x-Sunday, June 1 » Miami at Indiana, 6:30 p.m.
And what at first might have been looked at as an awkward break — three full days off until the next game day — is probably now welcomed by the Pacers. Indiana not only needs to get George cleared but also had starters Lance Stephenson, Roy Hibbert and David West all either limping or ailing in the final minutes of the Game 2 loss on Tuesday night.
George was hurt with 6:52 left in the fourth quarter of Miami’s Game 2 victory. He stole the ball from Heat guard Dwyane Wade, but could not keep control and wound up tumbling face-first to the court. Wade, also going for the ball, struck the back of George’s head with his left knee, then appeared to scrape the same area with his right leg as he also fell to the hardwood.
George remained down for a few moments, but played the remainder of the game. He revealed afterward that he "blacked out" on the play, something that the Pacers say was not relayed to their medical staff.
"George exhibited no symptoms of a concussion and, in response to questions from the Pacers’ medical staff, he denied dizziness, nausea, and issues with his vision," the Pacers said Wednesday. "He was also active and aware of his surroundings. As a result, the Indiana medical staff did not suspect a concussion."
But after the "blacked out" comment, the Pacers evaluated George again Wednesday morning.
"This case illustrates that concussion evaluation is an ongoing process and manifestations of the injury may not always present immediately," said NBA Concussion Program Director Dr. Jeffrey Kutcher, who will discuss George’s return-to-participation process with the Pacers’ team doctor before clearance is given for a return.
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