3 key Sixers out vs. Clippers; Rivers gives ‘optimistic' update on Hill


The Sixers officially ruled out three usual rotation players Friday night about a half hour before tipping off against the Clippers.

Seth Curry (left hip flexor tightness), Tobias Harris (right knee soreness) and Dwight Howard (left knee soreness) are all sidelined. Clippers star Kawhi Leonard was ruled out for Friday’s game with right foot soreness. 

Mike Scott and Furkan Korkmaz were named starters in place of Harris and Curry.

Harris and Howard both missed the Sixers’ win Wednesday over the Nets, too. They’d been listed as questionable Friday throughout the day.

It makes sense that the Sixers would be cautious with Harris, who projects to be an integral player in the postseason. He said Wednesday he’d been dealing with “a little aching” in his right knee. The 28-year-old also missed the Sixers’ game last Saturday in Oklahoma City with right knee soreness. 

Curry had played in 11 consecutive Sixers games after a three-game absence due to a left ankle sprain, averaging 9.3 points and shooting 34.5 percent from three-point range during that stretch.

“I’m feeling OK,” he said Monday. “There’s been setbacks, I feel like, all throughout the year. It’s been a weird season for me personally. I’m trying to contribute when I step on the floor and give all I have, no matter what that is. Play whatever role is needed of me on that specific night. … Everybody has stepped up throughout the season. For me personally, I feel like I’m just hanging in there, trying to get better as much as I can and trying to take care of my body for the long run, as well — trying to be healthy toward the end of the season, come playoff time.”

George Hill remains out for the Sixers, though head coach Doc Rivers was positive about his progress. The veteran guard had right thumb surgery in February and is working toward his Sixers debut. 

“No timeline, but I think sooner than later,” Rivers said. “He had a good workout yesterday — a live workout. I think that may have been his first. Today he was on the floor but not live, and tomorrow he’ll be able to do a little bit more. Then we have a couple days that we can do some work. So we’ll see. I would say sometime next week would be, I guess, optimistic. But I’m optimistic, so I’m going to go with that.”

Regaining his conditioning is one of the hurdles in front of Hill. 

“His hand seemed to do OK, his lungs didn’t,” Rivers said. “That’s what he told me. That’s going to take some time.”

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