Wednesday, January 18, 2012
Chris Paul sits out against Mavs
By Arash Markazi
LOS ANGELES -- Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul sat out Wednesday's thrilling 91-89 win over the Dallas Mavericks.
Paul is listed as questionable for Friday's game against Minnesota as he continues to deal with a strained left hamstring.
Paul worked out on the Staples Center court for over an hour before the game, getting in shots with assistant coaches Robert Pack and Howard Eisley but Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said the team wanted to be cautious with Paul's return.
"He's feeling better, doing all his therapy and heading in the right direction," Del Negro said before the game. "We want to get him some work tomorrow and see how he feels for Friday and then go from there. ... Knowing Chris, he wants to play tonight. He's so competitive, he wants to get out there, but we have to be smart about it."
It was the third straight game Paul has missed because of the injury he suffered in the fourth quarter of the Clippers' 102-94 win over the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday. An MRI on Paul's hamstring Sunday came back negative.
Paul's absence was lessened as veteran guard Mo Williams was in the lineup Wednesday after missing the past three games with an injured right foot.
Williams scored 26 points and had four assists and two steals in 35 minutes off the bench.
Clippers guard Eric Bledsoe, who has been recovering from offseason surgery on his right knee, also got in some shots before the game but is still roughly two to three weeks from returning to the lineup.
"He's going to start working out and we'll see how his knee reacts, hopefully sometime in the beginning of February I'm expecting him," Del Negro said. "It's unfortunate he wasn't available now because obviously there's a lot of minutes for him."
Arash Markazi is a reporter and columnist for ESPNLosAngeles.com.