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Chris Paul (heel) returns from 14-game absence in Celtics rout

The Suns have been without star point guard Chris Paul since he injured his heel vs. Philadelphia on Nov. 7.

Chris Paul had been out of the Suns’ lineup since early November.

PHOENIX (AP) — Twelve-time All-Star Chris Paul returned to the Phoenix Suns’ starting lineup Wednesday night against the NBA-leading Boston Celtics following a 14-game absence with a sore heel.

It did not provide the spark they were searching for, however, as the Celtics utterly dominated the Suns, leading by as many as 45 points before settling for a 125-98 victory. Paul was limited to four points, four rebounds and four assists in 24 minutes.

The 37-year-old was listed as questionable for the game but did some work during the team’s morning shootaround.

The Suns had a 9-5 record in Paul’s absence, which started when he left a game against the 76ers on Nov. 7. He has played 10 games this season, averaging 9.4 assists and a career-low 9.5 points.

Cameron Payne has played well in Paul’s absence, averaging a career-high 13 points and 5.8 assists.