Suns' Paul out for Game 1 vs. Clippers due to COVID-19 protocols

Phoenix Suns guard Chris Paul (3) calls out a play against the New York Knicks during the first half of an NBA basketball game Friday, May 7, 2021, in Phoenix. (Rick Scuteri / AP)

Phoenix Suns star Chris Paul will miss Game 1 of the team's Western Conference Finals vs. the Los Angeles Clippers due to the NBA's health and safety protocols, per the league's injury report.

Game 1 tips off Sunday at 3:30 p.m. ET / 12:30 p.m. PT on Sportsnet ONE.

Paul has been vaccinated against COVID-19, per The Associated Press, which means he could be cleared to return more quickly than a player who tested positive earlier this season (if that is the case) before vaccines were available. It previously wasn't uncommon for players who entered the league's protocols to miss a week or more.

In March, the league also relaxed some of the protocols that were put into place last fall, doing so in response to players and coaches choosing to receive the vaccine that protects against the novel coronavirus.

But the NBA also cautioned at that time that "if an individual has symptoms consistent with COVID-19, the previous protocols apply" — which would still mean that anyone with those symptoms "may be subject to quarantine" regardless of their vaccination status.

Paul, a 10-time All-NBA point guard, has averaged 15.7 points and 8.7 assists to lead the Suns to the Conference Finals, shooting 51 per cent from the field, 44 per cent from three-point range and 91 per cent from the foul line.

With files from The Associated Press

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