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Chris Paul to return to Rockets, start on Thursday

Houston Rockets v Golden State Warriors

OAKLAND, CA - OCTOBER 17: Chris Paul #3 of the Houston Rockets in action against the Golden State Warriors at ORACLE Arena on October 17, 2017 in Oakland, California. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

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Chris Paul is back.

The All-Everything point guard played 33 minutes opening night for the Rockets then shut it down midway through the fourth due to an ailing knee, and he has been out ever since. Now Paul will be back on Thursday when the Rockets host the Suns. Both CP3 and Mike D’Antoni confirmed the rumors.

The Rockets have gone 11-4 to start the season, with James Harden back to his MVP level and leading what has been the second best offense in the NBA this season. Houston’s defense is 13th in the league, which is a marked improvement from previous seasons.

While Harden and CP3 looked good together in preseason, that matters about as much as how they looked at the Drew League over the summer. There are still real questions to answer about who initiates plays in crunch time, as well tempo (the Rockets have been playing slightly slower than last season, but Paul is even more deliberate than that).

Still, the Rockets added Paul to take their run at Golden State, and they need him on the court developing chemistry with his teammates. That starts up again on Thursday night.