Chris Paul starting for Suns, is ‘full go’ for Game 3 vs. Lakers

Chris Paul starting for Suns, is 'full go' for Game 3 vs. Lakers

Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul, left, battles with Los Angeles Lakers forward Anthony Davis, right, for a loose ball during the first half of Game 2 of their NBA basketball first-round playoff series Tuesday, May 25, 2021, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Phoenix Suns point guard Chris Paul is starting for the team in Game 3 on Thursday against the Los Angeles Lakers.

Earlier on Thursday, Arizona Sports’ John Gambadoro reported Paul was not a game-time decision and was going to be available.

“He’s gotten better over the last couple of days and he is a full go tonight,” head coach Monty Williams said of Paul pregame.

Williams went on to say that he will be keeping a close eye on Paul, seeing if he sees the same looks from Paul that he’s used to, as opposed to what he saw in Game 2 when he pulled Paul from the game in the fourth quarter.

The point guard was listed on the official injury report as probable (right shoulder contusion) to play Game 3 at Staples Center.

His injury, suffered in a Suns Game 1 victory on Sunday, has been reported as a stinger.

“I felt bad for him just because of what happened in the past with injuries in the playoffs with him,” Suns forward Mikal Bridges said Thursday after shootaround. “I felt his pain and I know he was tough on himself.

“Today, yeah, he was out there at shootaround. He’s going to work as hard as he can to be 100. To me, I just see him out there, moving around, feeling better, so I think he’s doing OK.”

Paul played 23 minutes and scored six points to go with five assists and three turnovers in Phoenix’s Game 2 loss to Los Angeles on Tuesday. He was replaced down the stretch by backup point guard Cam Payne as Williams grew concerned over the limitations that the Paul’s injury was presenting to him.

“I took him out,” Williams said after the loss on Tuesday. “It was all me, just looking at him hold his arm the way he was holding it. I just couldn’t watch him run like that. He’s trying to make plays. He battled. He’s a warrior. We all know that. I just made a decision to take him out.

“It’s pretty obvious he’s not able to make the passes he wants,” Williams added. “He was laboring tonight. … He wasn’t even running the way that he ran and dribbled the ball this morning, so we’re hopeful it’ll get better over the next 48 hours.”

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