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Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul was held out of practice for the second straight day Wednesday with a right hamstring injury that has bothered him since late in the first half of Saturday's playoff series-opening loss to the Golden State Warriors.
Paul was able to play through the injury in the Clippers' Game 2 win over the Warriors on Monday night and says he will be ready for Game 3 in Oakland on Thursday.
|Chris Paul has been hampered by an injured right hamstring in the first two games of the Clippers' playoff series against the Warriors.|
"I'll be ready, I'm OK," Paul repeatedly said when asked about the injury. "As long as I'm out on the court, I'm good."
That's been a familiar refrain for Paul, who mostly deals with injuries by refusing to acknowledge they affect him.
"I love that approach, because I do believe that. Your mind is strong," Clippers coach Doc Rivers said. "I just have to watch his movement during the games. The only way you can find out with injuries is to go out and play -- then you'll see.
"But I thought he's been great. In the second half [of Monday's win], I thought he got tight -- tight legs, not tight physically -- you could see his movement wasn't there."
Paul has been getting round-the-clock treatment on the hamstring since he was injured trying to chase down a loose ball with Golden State's Stephen Curry with 27 seconds remaining in the first half on Saturday. He came out of the game twice to get the hamstring looked at, but played extended minutes in the second half and during Monday's win.
While he's invaluable to the Clippers offense, in this series his work against Curry on the defensive end has almost been more important.
A regular on the All-Defensive team, Paul has turned his focus to chasing Curry through multiple screens around the court and trying to stay as close to Curry as possible to disrupt his flow.
"For me going into every game, it's defense first. Guarding Steph is tough," Paul said. "Running through those screens and running off screens is tough.
"You just have to try to stay on his body as much as possible. He's a great scorer, great shooter, you just have to limit his touches and try to make it as tough as possible."
Warriors forward Draymond Green complained Tuesday about the amount of contact Curry took from Clippers defenders in the first two games of this series, saying on radio station KNBR that "it pissed me off, and we'll remember that."
Asked about Green's comments on Wednesday, Rivers said, "I didn't even know there was a lot of contact. I think the contact is for the bigs. I didn't think there was a lot of contact at the guard positions at all."