Suns’ Paul (heel) expected back against Celtics

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Suns star Chris Paul is expected to play for the first time in a month when Phoenix hosts the Boston Celtics Wednesday night.

Paul, who has been out since Nov. 7 when he suffered a heel injury that forced him to leave a loss to the Philadelphia 76ers, is listed as questionable for the game, but he’s expected to play if there are no setbacks after working out.

“I feel pretty good,” Paul told reporters in Phoenix. “I’m going to see how I feel after this and go from there.”

The Suns have gone 9-5 over the past month with Paul sidelined and enter the game (10 p.m. ET, ESPN) in first place in the Western Conference for a second straight season.

Paul, 37, is averaging 9.5 points and 9.4 assists across 10 games this season. The 9.5 points would easily be the lowest of Paul’s career, as he has never averaged less than the 14.7 he posted last season. He’s also shooting career-worsts from the field (36.8%) and 3-point line (27.3%).

Boston is going to be without starting center Al Horford, who entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols Wednesday. Guard Malcolm Brogdon was listed as available after a non-COVID illness.

The Celtics, who began a six-game road trip with wins in Brooklyn on Sunday and Toronto on Monday, have the NBA’s best record at 20-5. Boston next plays Saturday in San Francisco against the Golden State Warriors before a back-to-back in Los Angeles next Monday and Tuesday.

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