Knee issues force Draymond, Paul out of opener

NBA.com Global on Oct 18, 2017 03:09 PM
Knee issues force Draymond, Paul out of opener
Houston Rockets' Chris Paul, right, steps over Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry (30) after losing the ball out of bounds during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017, in Oakland, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)

NBA.com staff report

Golden State was forced to play the final stages of its own season opener without last season's Defensive Player of the Year.

Draymond Green exited Tuesday's (Wednesday, PHL time) game against Houston in the fourth quarter with a left knee strain, hobbling quickly to the locker room before being officially diagnosed with the injury. He would not be able to return to action, finishing with nine points and 13 assists.

David Aldridge quoted Green saying "I'll be fine" after the game, but the All-Star forward declined to comment further. Anthony Slater of The Athletic added that Green lacked any visible brace for the affected knee.

On the other side of the court, with the Rockets threatening but still trailing late in Tuesday's (Wednesday, PHL time) season opener at Golden State, head coach Mike D'Antoni went to his crunch-time group.

Chris Paul was not part of it.

The Rockets went on to win a thrilling 122-121 contest in comeback fashion, all with Paul cheering from the bench. That fact, however, could prove to be extremely temporary given D'Antoni's postgame comments. The reigning NBA Coach of the Year told reporters that Paul was "dragging" his left leg, a result of a sore left knee.

Paul finished the night with a team-high 11 assists, but shot just 2-for-9 from the field en route to four points, his lowest output since March 9, 2015. He appeared in good spirits, however, enthusiastically cheering on his team's victory from the bench.

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