Chris Paul Ruled Out for Suns vs. Clippers Game 2 Due to Health and Safety Protocols

Blake SchusterContributor IJune 22, 2021

DENVER, CO - JUNE 13:  Chris Paul #3 of the Phoenix Suns dribbles against the Denver Nuggets in Game Four of the Western Conference second-round playoff series at Ball Arena on June 13, 2021 in Denver, Colorado. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Dustin Bradford/Getty Images)
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Phoenix Suns point guard Chris Paul will remain out for Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals against the Los Angeles Clippers as he works through the NBA's health and safety protocols.

Marc Stein @TheSteinLine

The Suns have officially listed Chris Paul (health and safety protocols) as out for Tuesday's Game 2 of the Western Conference finals.

Paul did not play in Game 1, which the Suns won 120-114, giving Phoenix a 1-0 series lead in the best-of-seven. Game 2 is slated for Tuesday at 9 p.m. EST on ESPN live from Phoenix Suns Arena. 

The 36-year-old last played in Game 4 of the Western Conference Semifinals, dropping 37 points with seven assists, to sweep the Denver Nuggets and lift the Suns to their first conference finals since 2010. 

Earlier on Monday, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski mentioned on SportsCenter there's "optimism" in Phoenix that Paul will return "sooner than later" in this series, potentially by Game 3 in Los Angeles. 

"There is optimism they're going to get him back in the early part of this series," Wojnarowski said

The Clippers will also be shorthanded for Game 2 as small forward Kawhi Leonard remains out with a right knee sprain. Leonard last played in Game 4 against the Utah Jazz, posting 31 points and seven rebounds in a 118-104 victory. 

While it's impossible to compare the absences, both Paul and Leonard represent a major part of the starting lineup and serve as irreplaceable parts of their teams' respective rotation.  

It's unclear when Leonard may be able to return to the floor.