Rockets vs. Suns preview: Chris Paul is back!

HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 26: James Harden
HOUSTON, TX - DECEMBER 26: James Harden /

Tonight is the long-awaited return of CP3 to the starting lineup of the Rockets.

The Rockets (11-4) will welcome back a star to the floor tonight. Chris Paul is returning and will play around 20 minutes. They will be facing the Suns (5-10) who have the ever-dangerous Devin Booker. They will play in Phoenix at 9:30.

The Rockets are coming off a tough loss to the Raptors in which they struggled to defend anybody. It snapped their 6-game winning streak and dropped them to second in the Western Conference.

The Suns are also coming off a loss. They dropped their game to the Lakers the other night despite 36 points from Booker.

Let’s take a look at the injury report:

Injury Report

The Suns are pretty banged up. Tyson Chandler, Jared Dudley, Davon Reed, Alan Williams, and Brandon Knight are all out for them. Greg Monroe will play his first game with the Suns tonight and it is unclear if he will start.

For Houston, Nene Hilario is questionable with a sore ankle. Chris Paul is playing limited minutes.

Projected Starting 5s


Chris Paul/James Harden/Trevor Ariza/Ryan Anderson/Clint Capela


Tyler Ulis/Devin Booker/T.J. Warren/Marquese Chriss/Alex Len (Monroe?)

Keys to the Game

This game shouldn’t be one that the Rockets drop. However, Devin Booker has the ability to go off and carry the Suns when he’s hot. Houston will need to be careful and guard him well.

Despite their 5-10 record, the Suns have some impressive wins against the Timberwolves and Wizards. The Rockets will need to not play down to competition.

Chris Paul will get a look with the second-unit most likely. It will be nice to have that boost to the bench when they come into the game. CP3 will need to get used to playing more off the ball to start the game and then going back to his natural point guard position.

How to Watch

Tonight’s game will be the second-half of the TNT doubleheader. You can watch on TNT or on the Watch TNT app at 9:30.

Next: Chris Paul will play limited minutes