OKLAHOMA CITY -- New Orleans rookie point guard Chris Paul
will start for the Hornets against Detroit on Tuesday night despite
a torn ligament in his thumb, coach Byron Scott said.
Paul tore the ligament on the inside of his right thumb Friday
during the Hornets' 90-80 win over Portland. He missed the Hornets'
last game, a 101-93 loss at Atlanta on Saturday.
Paul is the NBA leader among rookies in scoring, assists, steals
and minutes. He was expected to be out at least two weeks.
Paul participated in the Hornets' shootaround at the Ford Center
on Tuesday morning and Scott made the decision to play Paul
"He's just a very competitive young man who wants to play,"
Scott said before the game.
Scott said he was "a little on edge" about his decision, but
that team doctors told him that Paul couldn't damage the thumb any
further by playing.
"I had no thoughts about playing him ... until this morning,"
The Hornets' first-round draft pick, Paul entered the game
averaging 16.3 points, 7.4 assists and 2.2 steals per game. He also
averaged 5.8 rebounds.