Chris Paul sitting out game Thursday to rest sore hamstring

HOUSTON -- The Rocketsrested star guard Chris Paul on Thursday night against the Detroit Pistons primarily as a precautionary measure, Houston coach Mike D'Antoni said before the game.

"He would have played today if he'd have to," D'Antoni said. "But why take a chance?"

Paul was officially listed as questionable on the injury report because of left hamstring soreness. He tweaked the hamstring in the final minute of Tuesday's win over the Portland Trail Blazers but indicated that it wasn't a concern.

"I'm good, I'm good," Paul said after the win in Portland. "I'll be fine."

With Houston coasting to the top overall seed, the Rockets will look for spots to selectively rest core players down the stretch of the regular season. At 57-14, the Rockets have a four-game lead and own the tiebreaker over the Golden State Warriors.

"Stay healthy," Paul said Tuesday night when asked the message for the rest of the regular season. "That's it for us. Keep playing the right way, keep building, talking on defense and play the way that we play. We are who we are. For us, we're just trying to stay healthy."

Paul, a 13-year veteran averaging 18.8 points and 7.9 assists in his first season with the Rockets, has missed 18 games with knee, adductor and groin injuries this season. The Rockets are 46-7 when Paul plays and 11-7 when he sits.

Paul's resting against the Pistons denied another reunion game against former LA Clippers co-star Blake Griffin, who was traded to Detroit midway through the season. Paul and Griffin had a heated confrontation during the Rockets' Jan. 15 loss to the Clippers, the night that Houston's Trevor Ariza and Gerald Green barged into the Clippers' locker room after the game.
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