Chris Paul: I Talked Suns' Monty Williams Out of Sitting Me for Game 4 vs. Lakers

Scott Polacek@@ScottPolacekFeatured Columnist IVMay 30, 2021

Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul, left, passes the ball while under pressure from Los Angeles Lakers guard Dennis Schroder, right, during the first half in Game 4 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series Sunday, May 30, 2021, in Los Angeles. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

Chris Paul wasn't about to miss Sunday's Game 4 against the Los Angeles Lakers.

After helping lead his Phoenix Suns to a 100-92 victory to tie the series at two games apiece, Paul told ESPN's Rachel Nichols that he had to talk head coach Monty Williams into letting him play through the shoulder injury that has plagued him throughout the series.

"[Coach] told me he was gonna sit me. ... I told him hell nah," he said.

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"[Coach] told me he was gonna sit me. ... I told him hell nah."<br><br>—CP3 wasn’t going to miss a pivotal Game 4 (via @Rachel__Nichols ) pic.twitter.com/8OrJ4sr2dV

Williams told reporters he held a "long talk" with the point guard prior to the game about whether he could resemble his typically dominant self and help the team win. Williams then met with general manager James Jones and decided to let Paul start and see how the situation developed. 

It turns out that was the right decision.

Paul finished with 18 points, nine assists, three rebounds and three steals while shooting 7-of-15 from the field. He was a calming presence in the fourth quarter for the visitors and helped stave off a late charge from the Lakers to clinch the victory and earn back home-court advantage.

There were times earlier in the series that Paul appeared to struggle, controlling his dribble and shooting from distance with the shoulder injury, but that was not nearly as much the case on Sunday.

Cameron Payne has been effective while taking over more of the ball-handling duties from Paul in this series and was solid again off the bench with 13 points, four assists and four rebounds.

Phoenix isn't the only team dealing with injury concerns in this series.

Kentavious Caldwell-Pope didn't play for the Lakers, and Anthony Davis exited in the first half with a groin injury. Davis never returned, and Phoenix seized control in the third quarter and created enough separation to survive Los Angeles' late charge in the fourth quarter.