PHOENIX SUNS

Chris Paul still bothered by shoulder for Suns vs. Lakers in Game 2 loss

May 25, 2021, 7:35 PM | Updated: 11:48 pm
PHOENIX, ARIZONA - MAY 25: Chris Paul #3 of the Phoenix Suns handles the ball against Dennis Schrod...
PHOENIX, ARIZONA - MAY 25: Chris Paul #3 of the Phoenix Suns handles the ball against Dennis Schroder #17 of the Los Angeles Lakers during the first half of Game Two of the Western Conference first-round playoff series at Phoenix Suns Arena on May 25, 2021 in Phoenix, Arizona. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
(Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)

Phoenix Suns point guard Chris Paul still did not look fully like himself in Game 2’s 109-102 loss to the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday night.

Paul finished the game watching from the bench after playing only 23 minutes in which he posted six points, five assists and three rebounds.

“I took him out,” head coach Monty Williams said via Zoom postgame.

“It was all me, just looking at him hold his arm the way he was holding it. I just couldn’t watch him run like that. He’s trying to make plays. He battled. He’s a warrior. We all know that. I just made a decision to take him out.”

All eyes were on Paul after he suffered a right shoulder injury in Game 1 that impacted his ability to play in a variety of ways.

After there were no clear signs in his first shift that it was still a bother, he was obviously still affected by the injury in the second quarter with his shoulder being worked on on the bench.

Paul was passing in a few situations he wouldn’t normally, and on a few plays was only lifting his left arm.

With that in mind, he was still able to make things happen as the Point God.

In the first half, Paul was 2-of-5 from the field with five points, three rebounds and three assists.

Lakers point guard Dennis Schroder picked up Paul full court and was putting on far more pressure than Game 1.

“It’s pretty obvious he’s not able to make the passes he wants,” Williams said. “He was laboring tonight. …

“He wasn’t even running the way that he ran and dribbled the ball this morning, so we’re hopeful it’ll get better over the next 48 hours.”

Paul was not listed on the injury report for Game 2, an indication his injury was in a good spot.

The injury occurred in the early second quarter on an awkward play where Paul fell to the ground in visible pain. He stayed on the floor for a few minutes before walking to the locker room with a towel over his head.

Paul returned later in the quarter and played through it, clearly unable to use his right arm in the ways he normally would for passing, dribbling and shooting the basketball.

He played 36 minutes, registering seven points and eight assists.

Paul this season is a shoo-in to make an All-NBA team. The 36-year-old point guard averaged 16.4 points and 8.9 assists per game this season.

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