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Rockets PG Chris Paul out vs. Raptors, hopeful to return Sunday vs. Magic

Chris Paul, Rockets

Houston Rockets point guard Chris Paul won’t be available for Friday’s game against the Toronto Raptors, according to Jonathan Feigen of The Houston Chronicle. Head coach Mike D’Antoni expressed hope he would be able to return on Sunday against the Orlando Magic.

D’Antoni previously gave a loose timetable, saying Paul could return Friday or Sunday or even Tuesday against the New Orleans Pelicans.

This would be Paul’s 17th straight absence since suffering a strained hamstring in a loss to the Miami Heat.

Since then, the Rockets have gone 11-5, mainly due to James Harden’s incandescent scoring foray through that stretch, now building on 21 straight games scoring 30 or more points — one which was thought to culminate with a career-high 61-point effort at Madison Square Garden.

The streak it seems, will likely live on for at least one more game, with Harden tasked with handling the bulk of the offense one more time, milking the most of Paul and Clint Capela’s absence to shatter records while making a push for the Rockets in a loaded Western Conference.

Paul has already had 22 absences this season out of the 48 games the Rockets have played, shooting a career-low 41.5 percent from the floor and an odd 35.3 percent from beyond the arc.

The perennial dime maestro is averaging 15.6 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 8.0 assists this season, a vast all-around difference from the averages he put up during the 2018-19 season.