Suns’ Chris Paul To Return For Game 3 Vs. Clippers

Suns point guard Chris Paul will return for Game 3 of the Western Conference finals vs. the Clippers, the team announced.Chris Paul

Paul missed the first two games of the series while in the NBA’s health and safety protocol. Dave McMenamin and Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN earlier reported the Suns were optimistic Paul was on the brink of a return.

The Suns took a 2-0 series lead Tuesday on a last-second dunk by center Deandre Ayton off a pinpoint inbounds pass from Jae Crowder. Game 3 is scheduled for Thursday in Los Angeles.

Paul, 36, is averaging 15.7 points, 8.7 assists and 4.1 rebounds in the playoffs.

Suns coach Monty Williams said before Game 2 that Paul was determined to return.

“We don’t have the luxury of waiting on anybody right now. These games are so important. Every practice, every film session,” Williams said. “We certainly would see where he’s at when that time comes, but that’s hard to make that judgment just because COVID is so different. You have COVID and the playoffs, you know what I mean? It’s not COVID and the regular season.

“I’m sure if I tried to keep Chris out of the game, we’d have to square off and go toe-to-toe. So we’ll just make that assessment when the time comes.”

Meanwhile, the Clippers will continue to be minus star forward Kawhi Leonard, who will miss his fifth straight game with a knee injury.

The Suns last appeared in the Finals in 1993, while the Clippers haven’t made it once since their inception as the Buffalo Braves in 1970. They moved from Buffalo to San Diego in 1978, then to LA in 1984.

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