Suns’ Chris Paul exits Lakers game after injuring right shoulder

Chris Paul lies on the court, holding his right shoulder with his left hand.
Suns guard Chris Paul fell to the court after injuring his right shoulder in the first half Sunday.
(Ross D. Franklin / Associated Press)

Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul left Game 1 of the first-round playoff series against the Lakers because of a right shoulder injury, stunning the Phoenix crowd into silence.

Players from both teams gathered around the veteran point guard as he was on the court during a timeout, his good friend and Lakers star LeBron James helping him to his feet before Paul went to the Suns’ locker room.

The injury happened on a strange play, with Paul in the air challenging James on a put-back attempt. As Paul landed, his right arm and shoulder connected with teammate Cameron Johnson’s torso, sending Paul to the court in considerable pain.

Suns general manager James Jones followed him into the locker room. The team reported Paul had a bruised right shoulder.

The Suns were up by nine points when Paul exited the game. He returned after a few minutes and helped Phoenix open a double-digit lead.

A graphic lists game times and TV stations for the Lakers and Suns.
The Lakers-Suns schedule for the first-round playoff series.
(Tim Hubbard / Los Angeles Times)