Barnes: Chris Paul Will Play Game 3

After missing the first two games of his team’s Eastern Conference semifinal series against the Houston Rockets, Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul is ready to return for Game 3. Teammate Matt Barnes told reporters that Paul will be returning from his strained hamstring on Friday night.

“He said he’s playing tonight,” Barnes said. “You hope he’s ready. His game is such stop-and-go and such an integral part of our team. I hope he can stay healthy throughout the game. We’ll see what he has in store for us.”

The series is tied 1-1 heading into tonight’s contest, so Los Angeles has been able to survive with Paul on the bench. However, the guard returns in a pivotal Game 3 that could be the turning point of the series.

“Chris is a warrior, which scares all of us,” Barnes said. “He wanted to get out there in Game 1 and Game 2, and we held him back.”

Paul hurt his hamstring in Game 7 of the first round against the San Antonio Spurs. Paul hit the game- and series-winning shot with just seconds remaining to help his team advance.

Austin Rivers, son of Clipeers head coach Doc Rivers, started this series’ first two games in Paul absence.

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