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Thunder’s Paul George could sit Game 1 but says “expect me out there Sunday”

Paul George, James Harden

Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George (13) collides with Houston Rockets guard James Harden, bottom, and is called for a foul during the second half of an NBA basketball game Tuesday, April 9, 2019, in Oklahoma City. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)


OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — Thunder forward Paul George could miss Sunday’s playoff opener at Portland with right shoulder soreness.

Thunder coach Billy Donovan said Friday the All-Star is considered day-to-day.

George, who has been bothered by the shoulder issue since around the All-Star break, said it hurts but he intends to play Sunday in Game 1.

George finished second in the league with 28.0 points per game this season, and he led the league with 2.21 steals per contest. He shoots 39 percent from 3-point range and is the team’s No. 3 rebounder.

George hit the game-winning 3-pointer against Houston on Tuesday, but he aggravated a previous injury during the game and was in too much pain to play in the regular-season finale Wednesday at Milwaukee.

George also missed games on Feb. 28, March 2 and March 3 with soreness in the right shoulder. He has had problems with his left shoulder, too, though the issues are unrelated.