When the Phoenix Suns take the floor for Game 2 against the Los Angeles Lakers, All-Star guard Chris Paul plans to be in the lineup.
In Phoenix's impressive Game 1 victory, the 16-year veteran briefly exited the game early in the second quarter after a scary moment in which he fell to the ground holding his right shoulder. After he was evaluated in the locker room, Paul was diagnosed with a right shoulder contusion but was available to return.
Although he looked to be experiencing some discomfort, Paul continued to make big plays for the Suns, finishing with seven points, eight assists and four rebounds in 36 minutes of action.
During his postgame availability, Paul went into detail to describe the injury, saying "I was going up and I just remember, I heard some crack or whatever … I'll be alright." He added that he will "absolutely" be ready to play in Game 2.
Chris Paul (shoulder) says he "absolutely" will be ready for Game 2 vs the Lakers.- Rachel Nichols (@Rachel__Nichols) May 23, 2021
He echoed a similar sentiment to head coach Monty Williams, who told reporters "I talked to (Chris) briefly just now and his words to me were he was OK and he'll be OK going forward, but he was pretty sore when he came back.
"Him playing today gave us a lot of juice, a lot of energy. It was inspirational to watch him out there giving his all on both ends of the floor."
With a limited Paul, it was Devin Booker that led the charge for the Suns, finishing his playoff debut with 34 points, eight assists and seven rebounds while Deandre Ayton recorded a monster 21-point, 16-rebound double-double in the win.
Paul, who added that he has a great team of specialists to help him take care of his body, said that the fire shown by his teammates in his brief absence is a part of the identity they have shown all season.
They'll look to replicate that performance as they seek a 2-0 series lead against the Lakers in Game 2.
Stick with NBA.com for more updates regarding Paul's injury and availability moving forward.
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