Paul to start for Hornets against Pistons
OKLAHOMA CITY -- New Orleans rookie point guard Chris Paul will start for the Hornets against Detroit on Tuesday night despite a torn ligament in his thumb, coach Byron Scott said.
NO/Oklahoma City Hornets
Paul tore the ligament on the inside of his right thumb Friday during the Hornets' 90-80 win over Portland. He missed the Hornets' last game, a 101-93 loss at Atlanta on Saturday.
Paul is the NBA leader among rookies in scoring, assists, steals and minutes. He was expected to be out at least two weeks.
Paul participated in the Hornets' shootaround at the Ford Center on Tuesday morning and Scott made the decision to play Paul afterward.
"He's just a very competitive young man who wants to play," Scott said before the game.
Scott said he was "a little on edge" about his decision, but that team doctors told him that Paul couldn't damage the thumb any further by playing.
"I had no thoughts about playing him ... until this morning," Scott said.
The Hornets' first-round draft pick, Paul entered the game averaging 16.3 points, 7.4 assists and 2.2 steals per game. He also averaged 5.8 rebounds.
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press
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