It's been an eventful postseason for Phoenix Suns point guard Chris Paul. After dropping a playoff career-high 41 points in the deciding Game 6 of the Western Conference finals on Wednesday night, he told reporters he's playing through a hand injury.
Chris Paul playing through partially torn hand ligaments
Paul said he underwent an MRI prior to Game 6 against the Los Angeles Clippers that revealed partially torn ligaments in his right hand. That's in addition to playing through a nerve issue in his shoulder during the first-round series against the Los Angeles Lakers and testing positive for COVID-19 between the second round and conference finals.
"Hell, man, I experienced COVID. Just a week ago, I was here [in L.A. while quarantining] at home. Couldn't be there with my teammates," Paul said, via ESPN. "It's been a lot, and I want it not just for myself but for everybody in that locker room."
Paul, 36, fell to the court while attempting a rebound during Game 1 of the series against the Lakers in May. He briefly left the game and returned with an official diagnosis of right shoulder contusion.
He tested positive for COVID-19 despite reportedly being vaccinated and was placed in the league's health and safety protocols on June 16. He entered quarantine after the second-round sweep of the Denver Nuggets and missed the first two games of the conference finals.
Paul makes it to first NBA Finals
Now he's about to play in the first NBA Finals of his 16-year career. Paul's 41 against the Clippers and 37 against the Nuggets in a second-round Game 4 clincher make him the oldest player in league history with 35-plus points in consecutive closeout games in a postseason, per ESPN Stats & Information.
Injuries have been a recurring theme in the 2021 NBA playoffs. The Suns will play either the Milwaukee Bucks, who could be without Giannis Antetokounmpo, or the Atlanta Hawks, who could be without Trae Young. The Suns will hold home-court advantage, no matter who makes it through from the East.
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