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Rockets’ Chris Paul says improved health a big key in recent turnaround

Chris Paul, Rockets

The Houston Rockets have won three games in a row, and All-Star point guard Chris Paul says guys getting healthy is a big reason why the team is starting to play better.

Paul was reportedly dealing with a right elbow injury at the beginning of the season. His backcourt mate, reigning MVP James Harden, had a hamstring ailment that has taken some time to heal. A few other key Rockets rotation players have been nicked up as well.

Chris Paul has played in 12 games this season. The nine-time All-Star was suspended for three games after fighting Los Angeles Lakers point guard Rajon Rondo in the second game of the season. Paul is averaging 17.0 points, 5.2 rebounds and 7.5 assists on the year while shooting 41.8 percent from the field, 35.7 percent from beyond the arc and 77.1 percent from the free-throw line.

The Rockets’ offense is not producing at the level it was last season. Houston is averaging just 103.4 points per game, which ranks 27th in the league. Last year, when the Rockets had the best record in the NBA, the team was putting up 112.4 points per game. That was second in the NBA.

The departure of Carmelo Anthony should help the Rockets’ offense function better. Since Anthony has been away, Houston is averaging 105.0 points a night. They have wins over the Indiana Pacers, Denver Nuggets and Golden State Warriors.