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Chris Paul says ‘spirit was right’ in his Thunder debut

Thunder, Chris Paul

All-Star point guard Chris Paul says the “spirit was right” in his Oklahoma City Thunder debut on Tuesday against the Dallas Mavericks.

Paul, who started alongside two other point guards in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Dennis Schroder, finished with six points, three rebounds, four assists and five turnovers in 17 minutes for the Thunder, who defeated the Mavs by a final score of 119-104.

Paul says OKC played the right way on offense and having three point guards on the floor at the same time makes the game easier for everyone.

“The spirit was right and the ball was moving,” Paul said, via Tim McMahon of ESPN. “When you practice like that, you always wonder if it’s going to translate to the game. For us tonight, it did.

“We all have talent in that we can create for each other. It just makes the game easier for you when you have multiple guys that can handle the ball.”

Billy Donovan’s Thunder teams have finished last in the league in passes per game the last four seasons. Chris Paul and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander will be running the Thunder’s offense this season. They both are less ball-dominant players than Russell Westbrook, though neither guy is as explosive or a lethal scorer like Russ.

Last season with the Houston Rockets, Paul averaged 15.6 points, 4.6 rebounds and 8.2 assists in 58 games. The nine-time All-Star shot 41.9 percent from the field, 35.8 percent from beyond the arc and 86.2 percent from the free-throw line.