Chris Paul hurting, but will start
OKLAHOMA CITY -- Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul will start Game 1 of the Western Conference semifinals against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday despite dealing with an injured right hamstring and right thumb.
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"I'm good," Paul said before going through shootaround on Monday. "I'm good. I'm ready to go tonight."
Paul struggled at times during the Clippers' seven-game first round series against the Golden State Warriors while battled the injuries but played his best game of the series during Saturday's Game 7, finishing with 22 points, 14 assists and four steals in 42 minutes.
"Chris looks good," Rivers said. "It looks like he's moving pretty good. He played a lot of minutes the other night and came out of it and did well. He feels pretty good."
Rivers said the Clippers came out of the first round fairly healthy and wasn't concerned about the quick turnaround after boarding a flight to Oklahoma City on Sunday after beating Golden State on Saturday.
"We're pretty good," Rivers said. "You always worry about the legs but we've had a day and a half off and they went through a seven-game series too. They didn't have to do the travel."
The only Clippers player that will be inactive for the first two games of the series is Clippers forward Hedo Turkoglu who will be sidelined with a hairline fracture of the transverse process in his lower back, which he suffered in Game 5 of the first round last week.
"They say day to day but I don't know what that actually means," Rivers said of Turkoglu. "Just watching him move, he's not going to play in either of the first two games, that's for sure."