Paul, who suffered the injury late in the Rockets‘ Game 5 victory on Thursday and missed Game 6, received treatment to attempt a return but a comeback was extremely unlikely. Paul is believed to have an elevated-grade hamstring strain, league sources said, making a recovery difficult within days of the injury.
The Rockets and Warriors are tied 3-3 entering Monday’s decisive contest to determine the West’s representative in the NBA Finals against the Cleveland Cavaliers. Paul’s injury has been significant for the Rockets, who suffered a 115-86 loss in Oakland in Game 6.
Behind Paul’s spectacular Game 5 performance, the Rockets took a 3-2 series lead over the defending champion Warriors. Paul had 20 points, seven rebounds, six assists and four 3-pointers in Game 5, hitting several clutch shots, shimmying on Stephen Curry after a deep 3-pointer and supplying the Rockets with leadership and energy.
Paul, a nine-time All-Star, joined the Rockets last summer and has teamed with All-Star and MVP favorite James Harden to lead Houston to the brink of the NBA Finals.
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