Ailing Phoenix Suns star Chris Paul says the extra days off before the first NBA Finals appearance of his 16-year career have been helpful.
Paul revealed after the Suns’ clinching Game 6 win over the LA Clippers in the Western Conference finals on Wednesday that he played with partially torn ligaments in his right hand during the series.
Asked on Saturday how he was able to get through the competition with an injured shooting hand, the 36-year-old point guard shrugged off the challenge.
“I managed it well, good,” he said.
He could have used a far stronger superlative to describe his performance in the closeout game, when he tied his playoff career high of 41 points, while shooting 16-for-24 from the field. Paul scored 30 of those points in the second half when the Suns pulled away to secure their first Finals berth in 28 years.
After dealing with a nerve issue in his shoulder in the first round against the Los Angeles Lakers and contracting COVID-19 between the second round and the conference finals, Paul was appreciative of some time away from the game to rest.
“Each day that we’ve had off has been really good, and we all get a chance to rest up a little bit before we get it going again,” Paul said.
Next up for the Suns will be the Milwaukee Bucks, who finished off the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday night with a 118-107 win in Game 6 of the Eastern Conference finals
Game 1 of the Finals will be Tuesday.