Paul back in lineup for Suns after 14-game injury absence

PHOENIX (AP) — Chris Paul is back in the starting lineup for the Phoenix Suns after missing a month with a sore right heel.

The 12-time All-Star guard returned Wednesday night against the NBA-leading Boston Celtics. The 37-year-old was listed as questionable for the game but did some work during the team’s morning shootaround.

The Suns had a 9-5 record in Paul’s absence, which started when he left a game against the 76ers on Nov. 7. He has played 10 games this season, averaging 9.4 assists and a career-low 9.5 points.

Cameron Payne has played well in Paul’s absence, averaging a career-high 13 points and 5.8 assists.

Also Wednesday, the Celtics said veteran forward Al Horford was out after he entered the league’s health and safety protocols.

The Celtics are 20-5. The Suns top the Western Conference at 16-8.

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