Phoenix Suns star Chris Paul, who tested positive for COVID-19 last week, has been symptom-free and could return to the team soon, according to Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports.
The team is encouraged with the progress of Paul, who has been quarantining in Los Angeles.
While the Suns are hopeful that Paul will return sooner rather than later, head coach Monty Williams said it’s still unknown.
“It’s just a day-to-day thing with him right now,” Williams said postgame. “I probably drive the people here crazy with that, but that’s the way it is. We’re hopeful that any day now we hear he can ramp up and get back with us. But right now, he’s in the protocol.”
Without Paul in Game 1, the Suns defeated the Los Angeles Clippers 120-114 behind Devin Booker’s 40-point, 13-rebound, 11-assist triple-double, the first of his career.
“We wanted to do it for him,” said Booker. “We talked about that pregame. We knew we were all going to have to give it a little bit more. Ball security and my job keeping everybody involved; stuff that’s usually on Chris’ plate. We all had to make up for it as a team.”
Point guard Cameron Payne, who started in place of Paul and stepped up with 11 points and nine assists, spoke about the advice Paul gave him.
“[Paul] said the game is going to be hectic, but keep your poise,” said Payne. “That was the first thing he told me. He called me yesterday and he said, ‘The game’s going to get hectic. Don’t worry about it; be poised. I know y’all ain’t played in a long time and the crowd is going to be crazy,’ but he was like, ‘Be poised and get on to the next play.’”
Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals is June 22.