- Arash Markazi, ESPNLosAngeles.com
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HOUSTON -- Los Angeles Clippers guard Chris Paul went through a light shootaround with the team Monday before Game 1 of their Western Conference semifinal series with the Houston Rockets. He is officially listed as "questionable" for the game and Doc Rivers said Paul would be a game time decision.
"He's alive," Rivers said jokingly when asked about Paul's status. "He's going to go through shootaround and we'll figure it out afterwards."
Paul, who has been getting around the clock treatment since suffering a left hamstring strain in Saturday's series-clinching win over the San Antonio Spurs, wasn't wearing socks or his normal game shoes during shootaround. He sat at the scorer's table while his teammates warmed up and did not address the media as he normally does before game day shootarounds.
Rivers said he didn't talk to Paul before shootaround but would confer with Paul and Clippers head athletic trainer Jasen Powell before Monday's game to decide on his point guard's status.
"I'll ask him eventually but I'm really going through J.P.," Rivers said, referring to Powell. "I really don't like getting involved with that. I don't ever want the player to feel the pressure of a coach. I swear they'll tell you. They'll tell you if they can play or if they can't, that's my theory, and the trainer will too and that's the guy I listen to the most."
Rivers said he will be more cautious with Paul with the quick turnaround and given that it's the first game of a seven-game series.
"You have to be careful," Rivers said. "If there's any risk, he won't play, I can tell you that right now. I just don't know yet."
Paul grabbed his left hamstring right before hitting a 3-pointer to give the Clippers a 23-22 lead with 2:11 remaining in the first quarter and exited 20 seconds later. He looked to be in tears as his head was buried in his hands while Powell talked to him and sent him back to the locker room.
Paul returned in the second quarter but was limping noticeably throughout the game and occasionally grabbed his left hamstring. He finished with 27 points -- including the game-winning shot with 1 second left -- and six assists.
"Yeah, I'm going to get with our training staff," Paul said after the game. "I know my grandmother back in North Carolina is praying right now. She's praying, and she'll let my mom pray over it and all that, too, and it will be all right."
Rivers said he will lean more heavily on Powell's advice before eventually deciding if Paul will start the game Monday.
"With Chris, you'll listen to the trainer more," Rivers said. "Hamstrings are tricky injuries and the MRI came out very good but you still have to be very careful because those are things even if you feel good and you go out there and hurt and you're out. You have to be careful with those."
Paul, who turns 30 on Wednesday, averaged 19.1 points, 10.2 assists and 1.9 steals per game this season. This was the first time in his 10-year NBA career he started all 82 games during the regular season.
Clippers guard Chris Paul went through a light shootaround with the team Monday before Game 1 of their Western Conference semifinal series with the Houston Rockets, but remains a game-time call.