One win away from a trip to the NBA Finals, the Houston Rockets will be short-handed for at least Game 6 with star point guard Chris Paul officially ruled out with a strained hamstring.
Paul, who suffered the injury late in Houston’s 98-94 win Thursday night, underwent an MRI on Friday morning before the team announced his status. Houston coach Mike D’Antoni said Paul still will travel with the team to Oakland for Game 6.
His status for a potential Game 7 and beyond is unknown.
“I hate it for him above all,” D’Antoni said. “He practically won us the past two games.”
Playing in the first conference finals of his career, Paul’s big second halves in Games 4 and 5 helped the Rockets grab a 3-2 series lead against the Golden State Warriors. But in the final minute Thursday night, Paul got sent to the floor and hobbled to the corner after missing a shot in the lane. He grabbed at his right hamstring and couldn’t get down the court for a defensive possession.
Paul previously suffered a left hamstring injury in Game 7 of the first round of the 2015 playoffs, fighting through the injury to help the Clippers eliminate the San Antonio Spurs with a last-second shot. Paul then missed the first two games of the second round.
D’Antoni said the Rockets will not change their offense, with Eric Gordon starting for Paul on Saturday in Game 6. Luc Mbah a Moute, who has fallen out of Houston’s rotation this series, will likely be used, as well.
In 15 games this postseason, Paul is averaging 21.1 points, 5.9 rebounds, 5.8 assists and 2.0 steals.
11:15 a.m.: This article was updated with staff reporting.
This article was originally published at 10:25 a.m.