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Report: Chris Paul Plans to Return from Protocols for Suns vs. Clippers Game 3

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJune 23, 2021

Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul (3) in the first half of Game 4 of an NBA second-round playoff series Sunday, June 13, 2021, in Denver. (AP Photo/David Zalubowski)
David Zalubowski/Associated Press

Phoenix Suns point guard Chris Paul is reportedly close to coming back.

According to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports, Paul "plans to make his return" from the COVID-19 protocol for Thursday's Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals "barring an unforeseen setback."

The 36-year-old veteran has been a key to the Suns' success during his first season in Phoenix, and he has largely stayed healthy despite having a history of injuries.

CP3 missed only two games during the regular season for a team that finished with the NBA's second-best record at 51-21, but he entered the COVID-19 health and safety protocols after the Suns swept the Denver Nuggets in the second round. He's also missed the first two games of the Western Conference Finals.

The Suns nonetheless hold a 2-0 series lead, with the Los Angeles Clippers missing superstar Kawhi Leonard because of a knee injury.

When on the court, Paul has been outstanding, averaging 16.4 points, 8.9 assists, 4.5 rebounds, 1.5 three-pointers made and 1.4 steals per game, while shooting 49.9 percent from the field and 39.5 percent from beyond the arc in 2020-21.

He was named an All-Star for the 11th time and was an All-NBA selection for the 10th time.

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CP3 has continued his strong play in the postseason and torched the Nuggets last round, averaging 25.5 points, 10.3 assists and 5.0 rebounds per game in the sweep.

After narrowly missing the playoffs last season, the Suns made a big move during the offseason by acquiring Paul from the Oklahoma City Thunder.

That decision paid dividends, as the Suns reached the playoffs and the Western Conference Finals for the first time since 2010.

While Devin Booker, Deandre Ayton and Mikal Bridges are the biggest keys to Phoenix's future success, Paul is the glue that helped bring them all together this season.

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