With the Rockets threatening but still trailing late in Tuesday's season opener at Golden State, head coach Mike D'Antoni went to his crunch-time group.
Chris Paul was not part of it.
The Rockets went on to win a thrilling 122-121 contest in comeback fashion, all with Paul cheering from the bench. That fact, however, could prove to be extremely temporary given D'Antoni's postgame comments. The reigning NBA Coach of the Year told reporters that Paul was "dragging" his left leg, a result of a sore left knee.
Paul finished the night with a team-high 11 assists, but shot just 2-for-9 from the field en route to four points, his lowest output since March 9, 2015. He appeared in good spirits, however, enthusiastically cheering on his team's victory from the bench.
Rockets’ Mike D’Antoni says Chris Paul sat down the stretch because knee injury had him playing “on one leg” and “dragging.”— Ben Golliver (@BenGolliver) October 18, 2017
Mike D'Antoni on Chris Paul (knee) sitting down the stretch: "Dragging his leg a little bit, I had to get him out of there."— Tim MacMahon (@espn_macmahon) October 18, 2017