Los Angeles Clippers point guard Chris Paul started in the team's exhibition game against the Miami Heat on Sunday afternoon in Shanghai, just two months after having surgery to repair a torn ligament in his right thumb.
"Being here in China, I mean these are some of my most loyal fans and for me to come this far and not to get out there and play in front of them, I just wouldn't have felt right," Paul told Clippers.com before the game. "I'm excited. I don't get to do this (play in China) as often as I would like, so I want to play."
Paul finished with four points and six assists in 21 minutes of the Clippers' 99-89 win over the Heat.
Paul was only able to participate on a limited basis the first week of training camp but his thumb improved so quickly he was cleared for full contact three days ago.
Paul initially injured his thumb at the first practice of Team USA's training camp in Las Vegas in July. He was able to play with the injury during the 2012 London Olympics, but had surgery just a few days after the gold medal game.