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Rockets' Paul upgraded to questionable vs. Raptors

Thanks to the scoring exploits of reigning Kia MVP James Harden, the Houston Rockets have managed to keep pace in the Western Conference playoff race despite several key injuries.

Reinforcements may be on the way soon for Harden and Co., though, as star guard Chris Paul’s status was upgraded today. Paul, who has been out since late December with a hamstring injury, is listed as questionable on the team’s official game notes for Friday’s home game against the Toronto Raptors (8 ET, ESPN).

Reserve guard Brandon Knight — who appeared in 12 games this season — has also been upgraded to questionable. Knight missed the first 25 games of this season with a left knee injury and has been out the last six games because of left knee soreness.

Paul was injured in the second quarter of a Dec. 20 to the Miami Heat. At the time, the Rockets were 0-5 without Paul in 2018-19 and had dropped nine straight when he didn’t play dating back to last season. However, since his absence began Dec. 21, Houston has gone 11-5. Much of that success is due to Harden, who has scored 30 or more points in 21 straight games, including a 61-point effort against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden last night.

Including playoffs, the Rockets are 77-22 when Paul plays. An injury to his other hamstring kept him out of the last two games of the Western Conference finals last season.

Paul missed two games early this season because of a suspension for his role in a fight with the Lakers and sat out three games in November with a sore hamstring.

He is averaging 15.6 points, 8.0 assists and 2.1 steals this season. The Rockets are 27-20 and No. 5 in the Western Conference.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.