Chris Paul (knee) starts vs. Mavs

Updated: March 26, 2013, 10:12 PM ET
By Arash Markazi | ESPNLosAngeles.com

DALLAS -- Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul started Tuesday against the Dallas Mavericks despite swelling in his left knee that made him a game-time decision.

Chauncey Billups, who was also a game-time decision, will sit out his third straight game with a strained left groin.

Paul hurt his knee during Saturday's win over the Brooklyn Nets, while Billups has been sidelined since straining his groin last Tuesday in Sacramento.

"I just want to make sure there's not a setback if he does play," Clippers coach Vinny Del Negro said of Paul in the pregame. "That's my biggest concern. Chris will want to play, and if he does play, I'll still monitor him in terms of how he's looking out there. We have four games in five nights and if he goes and stretches himself out tonight too much, I want to avoid a setback."

Billups worked out before Tuesday's game and Del Negro thought there was a good chance Billups would be back for Wednesday's game against New Orleans.

"Hopefully, (Chauncey) will be back tomorrow night, and if not, San Antonio (on Friday)," Del Negro said. "That's what I'm looking for, but he worked out hard tonight."

Arash Markazi

ESPNLosAngeles.com