Phoenix Suns star guard Chris Paul has been diagnosed with a left groin strain and is considered day-to-day, the team announced via a release.
Official update from the #Suns on Chris Paul: pic.twitter.com/gNsxgkEyAu
— Trevor Booth (@TrevorMBooth) May 3, 2023
Paul had an MRI and is expected to re-evaluated in one week, The Athletic’s Shams Charania reported earlier Monday. The Suns are preparing to be without him for Games 3, 4 and 5 of their Western Conference semifinal series.
Phoenix trails the series against the first-seed Denver Nuggets, two games to none.
Chris Paul suffered the injury in the third quarter of the Suns’ 97-87 Game 2 loss to the Nuggets Monday night. He went to box out Denver guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope and grabbed his groin area in pain.
Paul was then ruled out of the contest due to what the Suns said was left groin tightness.
At the time Paul suffered the injury, Phoenix led 59-51. The Suns had an effective game plan against the Nuggets, taking 19 more shots. However, Phoenix shot 40 percent (38-of-95).
The Suns will rely more heavily on Kevin Durant and Devin Booker without Paul. Backup guard Cameron Payne could fill in as the team’s starting point guard.
Payne has stepped up with Paul out in the past.
Two years ago, Payne averaged 15.8 points, 4.5 assists and 3.5 rebounds in Games 2 through 5 of the first-round series against the Los Angeles Lakers, when Paul was limited due to a shoulder injury.
Payne then started the first two games of the Western Conference Finals against the Los Angeles Clippers. He had 11 points in Game 1 and then 29 in Game 2 on 12-of-24 shooting with nine assists.
Booker, who has been one of the best players this postseason, could also add more playmaking to his duties with Paul out.
Game 3 between the Suns and Nuggets will be Friday at Footprint Center in Phoenix. The game will tip-off at 7 p.m. and be televised by TNT.
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