Photo by Erik Williams/USA Today

Paul Rounding Into Form After 17-Game Absence

Rockets guard finished an assist shy of a triple-double Saturday

February 10, 2019 - 4:13 pm

HOUSTON (SportsRadio 610)- Lost in all the negatives of the Rockets 117-112 loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder Saturday night at Toyota Center was Chris Paul looked like Chris Paul again.

In his sixth game back from a left hamstring strain that cost him 17 games, Paul finished with 18 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists, and two steals in 35 minutes, and Rockets head coach Mike D’Antoni was pleased with what he saw.

“He filled up every box,” D’Antoni said before practice Sunday. “He played great.”

Paul returned to action two weeks ago after suffering the injury December 20, and while D’Antoni knows it will take some time to see peak Chris Paul, the Rockets coach likes the progress his star guard is making.

We definitely want him to play well every single night,” Rockets guard Eric Gordon said. “You can just tell that he’s getting there, and we gotta just see how the season plays along, but he’s definitely doing well it seems like.”

Because of the loss Paul wasn’t ready to declare Saturday the best game of his comeback, but he did acknowledge his game can’t comeback all at once.

“Usually your conditioning takes awhile, but I think I’m getting there.

“I think for me, it’s just trying to get stronger and remain healthy.”

Paul will play Monday against Dallas and then again Wednesday in Minnesota. After that, Paul and the Rockets will get eight days off for the All Star break, at which point D’Antoni feels he’ll be all the way back.

“He’s getting there, and I knew he would. I didn’t know if it would be last game, next game, but by the time All Star break is over he’s going to be full speed ready to roll.”