CP3 'happy to be out here playing' after positive COVID-19 test

Adam Pantozzi / National Basketball Association / Getty

Although Chris Paul didn't have the return he envisioned in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals, the Phoenix Suns star is thankful to be back on the hardwood instead of isolating at home following his positive COVID-19 test last week.

"I'm just happy to be out here playing," Paul told reporters following the 106-92 loss to the Los Angeles Clippers, according to ESPN's Dave McMenamin. "There's a lot of people out here in the world who dealt with this (virus) and don't get the opportunity that I have."

Paul registered 15 points on 5-of-19 shooting - including 2-of-7 from deep - to go along with 12 assists and three steals in 39 minutes of action Thursday. The All-Star guard missed six shot attempts before making his first field goal of the contest with 3:43 remaining in the second quarter.

Head coach Monty Williams couldn't ease Paul back in after backup guard Cameron Payne left the game with an ankle injury after the opening quarter.

"I thought I played him too much. He probably got tired. But it hurt us when Cam Payne couldn't come back, so I left Chris out for a longer stretch. That's on me," Williams said. "But I think if he practices more and plays more - he hasn't done much in 10 days - I think he'll be much better in the next game from a conditioning standpoint."

Phoenix holds a 2-1 series lead heading into Saturday's Game 4.

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CP3 'happy to be out here playing' after positive COVID-19 test
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