The series between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Phoenix Suns started off as the most compelling by virtue of the on-court action. But it's the extra-curricular stuff that's taken center stage throughout the first three games.

Chris Paul's injury has been the biggest storyline of the series so far. The Suns drew first blood against LA in Game 1, and nearly made a spirited comeback thanks to a resurgent Cameron Payne. But after falling to the Lakers in Game 2, the Suns didn't seem to have the juice they usually do in Game 3. CP3 in particular looked like a mere Point Mortal.

After the game, the Suns All-Star claimed that he was totally fine. Paul said that he came out of the fourth quarter not because of injury, but because of a kick in the groin.

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Paul finished the contest with just 27 minutes played. The Suns veteran played much less than Devin Booker and Deandre Ayton, who logged 41 minutes apiece. CP3 exited the contest after playing the first two minutes for the final frame.

But the Lakers bombarded them with a run to go up by 18. With Paul not at 100%, whether by virtue of the groin hit or his injury, Phoenix might have sat him out of precaution.

While footage of the knee to his groin doesn't seem to be available online, it's not the first time someone's “nuts” were affected. Jae Crowder drew an unsavory kick to the unmentionables from Anthony Davis as well.

Suns reporter Gerald Bourguet of Valley of the Suns suggested that Chris Paul may be dismissing his very real injury. While it may just be speculation, it's not beyond Paul to try to hide some of his issues as not to give LeBron James and the Lakersany clear advantage.

Lakers-Suns Game 4 will be on Sunday night.