Clippers guard Chris Paul was forced from action with a separated right shoulder during L.A.'s 119-112 road victory over Dallas on Friday.
During his post-game comments, coach Doc Rivers told reporters that Paul is expected to miss three-to-five weeks with the injury. If Paul is sidelined for three weeks, he will miss the Clippers' next 10 games. If his absence extends to five weeks, he will miss up to 18 games. USA Today Sports reports that clarity on Paul's timeline is expected to be made available on Monday following further medical evaluations over the weekend.
Paul, a 2013 All-NBA First Team and All-Defensive First Team selection, is on track to be a starter for the 2014 Western Conference All-Star team, a recognition that is voted on by the fans. The 2014 All-Star Game is set for New Orleans on Feb. 16, which is a little more than six weeks away.
The six-time All-Star sustained the shoulder injury with 6:43 remaining in the third quarter and the Clippers leading 77-75. As he turned the corner at the top of the key to attack the basket off the dribble, Paul was fouled by Monta Ellis and he tumbled hard to the court. Laying on the ground on his back for some time, Paul held the top of his right shoulder in pain as the Clippers took a timeout so that trainers could attend to him. He departed with 19 points (on 5-for-8 shooting), six assists and three rebounds in 22 minutes, and the Clippers announced that he would not return.
Rivers will turn to reserve point guard Darren Collison in Paul's absence, and Jamal Crawford is also capable of taking on some of the ball-handling duties.
Paul, 28, is averaging 19.6 points, a league-leading 11.3 assists and 4.7 rebounds per game this season. His 27.3 PER ranks No. 5 in the NBA and is tops among point guards.
L.A. improved its Pacific Divison-leading record to 23-12 with the win. Dallas dropped to 19-14 with the loss.
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