Houston Rockets rule out Chris Paul for tonight's game vs. Sacramento Kings
JANIE McCAULEY | Associated Press
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Houston guard Chris Paul is out for the Rockets’ game in Sacramento on Wednesday night because of a bruised left knee and coach Mike D’Antoni isn’t counting on him Saturday for the home opener against Dallas.
“It’s not a concern, it’s just nagging,” D’Antoni said before the game against the Kings. “We’ll sit him until the training staff thinks he’s ready to go and try to get over it totally.”
Eric Gordon was to start in place of Paul, who still could be ready by Saturday but D’Antoni said, “I think he’s still in play but I think it’s hard.”
Paul had four points and shot 2 for 9 in the Rockets’ season-opening 122-121 win at Golden State on Tuesday night but was limited by soreness in the knee. He led the Rockets with 11 assists and also grabbed eight rebounds, while playing 33 minutes in his regular-season debut with Houston after being traded away by the Los Angeles Clippers during the offseason.
“Man, I got through it,” Paul told reporters after the game in Oakland. “It was cool. Tough game, but it’s all about getting the win.”
Paul was hampered at the end of the preseason by the knee pain which continued flaring Tuesday, and D’Antoni said the perennial All-Star “is playing on one leg right now.”
Tuesday’s game was the first since March 9, 2015, that Paul was held to four or fewer points.
D’Antoni isn’t concerned about Paul falling behind integrating and getting comfortable alongside James Harden in one of the Western Conference’s newest backcourt dynamic duos.
“I don’t think it’s a challenge, you’ve got two great players that play very well on the ball and off the ball,” D’Antoni said. “I don’t see a problem. He wasn’t healthy yesterday so he was going half speed and we’re playing Golden State, so that was the challenge yesterday. They’ve looked good in practice. I think they’ll keep figuring things out a little bit better and make it easier on each other. But we’re looking forward to just getting him back healthy.”