PHOENIX SUNS

Suns’ Chris Paul grateful to be back on the court after positive COVID-19 test

Jun 24, 2021, 10:27 PM | Updated: 11:06 pm

Chris Paul of the Phoenix Suns shoots against Ivica Zubac of the LA Clippers during the first half ...

Chris Paul of the Phoenix Suns shoots against Ivica Zubac of the LA Clippers during the first half of game three of the Western Conference Finals at Staples Center on June 24, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

While Phoenix Suns point guard Chris Paul wasn’t happy with the result in Thursday night’s Game 3 Western Conference Finals loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, he was grateful to be back on the court after missing time due to testing positive for COVID-19.

“I’m just happy to be out here playing,” Paul said. “A lot of people in the world who dealt with this and don’t get the opportunity that I have.”

“[Expletive] happens and it did, and I’m here now.”

He had not played since a Game 4 victory in the conference semifinals on June 13 that completed a sweep of the Denver Nuggets, testing positive for the virus three days later despite taking the Pfizer vaccine in February, according to Arizona Sports’ John Gambadoro.

Breakthrough cases like Paul’s are rare in Arizona, with only around 2,000 COVID-19 cases have been documented among the approximately 3 million people fully vaccinated in the state, the Arizona Department of Health Services told KTAR News 92.3 FM in an email last week.

Paul said he found out from a text while laying in bed with his kids at home.

“Once you get over the shock of what’s happening, the hell with how and why, you just start figuring out how you can get better,” Paul said.

While Paul was away from the team, his presence was still felt.

The team FaceTimed Paul after both the Game 1 and Game 2 victories in Phoenix.

“It’s a lot easier playing than it is watching it at home,” Paul said. “My nerves were terrible these last two games watching at home.

“Felt good to get back out there and play, now we got some unfinished business.”

Paul said he couldn’t wait to get home and watch film from the game, a night where the Suns shooting performance was a far cry from their usual output.

Phoenix came into the game with a 49% shooting percentage in the playoffs, but only reached 38.9% in the 106-92 loss.

Paul had his own struggles, going 5-of-19 from the floor with 15 points.

Despite the loss, the Suns still have a 2-1 series advantage going into Game 4 on Saturday night.

Tip-off from Los Angeles is 6 p.m. and all the action can be heard on 98.7 FM Arizona’s Sports Station.

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