Frank Isola of the New York Daily News reported Thursday the incident, which he described as a "love tap," could result in a fine or one-game suspension.
Here's the moment in question from Wednesday night, via The Cauldron:
The Cauldron @TheCauldron
Meanwhile, Chris Paul whacked Kevin Durant in the groin https://t.co/ZqM1VQXZHB3/10/2016, 4:05:39 AM
The hardest part for the NBA in potentially handing out a punishment would be determining the intent. The play happened so quickly. After Paul faked a shot, he headed toward the wing and brushed off the defense from Durant, catching him in the midsection.
It could have been an accident during the run of play, but Durant reacted immediately as Paul got free, and the 30-year-old knocked down an uncontested jumper.
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Last April, Paul was involved in a similar situation. He was battling Portland Trail Blazers center Chris Kaman for a rebound under the basket when he delivered a shot to the groin, which led to a shove from Kaman and then a standoff between the teams.
In 2005, Paul was suspended for one game while playing for Wake Forest after a low blow to North Carolina State's Julius Hodge. After that incident, CP3 claimed it was an accident, per WRAL: "I don't believe I popped him. It was just the heat of the game. I've got too much respect for him to try to pop him on senior night."
Ultimately, if the NBA is going to punish Paul for the shot to Durant, that background information is likely to come into play. There's a history of similar moments.
Oklahoma City won 120-108 in the battle of Western Conference contenders. Durant tallied 30 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists while playing nearly 36 minutes. Paul had 12 points, 16 assists and five steals in the loss.
If Paul is suspended, he could miss the team's clash with the New York Knicks on Friday night.
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