LOS ANGELES (AP) — Matt Barnes says injured Los Angeles Clippers teammate Chris Paul will play Game 3 against the Houston Rockets.

Paul missed the first two games of the Western Conference semifinals with a strained left hamstring. The best-of-7 series is tied 1-1 going into Friday night’s game at Staples Center.

READ MORE: Probe Underway Following Deputy-Involved Shooting In Palmdale

Barnes said at morning shootaround that Paul would play. Coach Doc Rivers wasn’t made available and there was no immediate confirmation from the team.

“He said he’s playing tonight,” Barnes said. “You hope he’s ready. His game is such stop-and-go and such an integral part of our team. I hope he can stay healthy throughout the game. We’ll see what he has in store for us.”

READ MORE: 3.6-Magnitude Earthquake Rattles Maywood; No Reports Of Damage

Barnes says he couldn’t gauge how Paul was feeling at shootaround because the Clippers mostly walk through plays and discuss strategy instead of working out.

“Chris is a warrior, which scares all of us,” Barnes said. “He wanted to get out there in Game 1 and Game 2, and we held him back.”

Paul injured his hamstring helping the Clippers close out defending NBA champion San Antonio in seven games in the first round. Austin Rivers, the son of Doc Rivers, started the first two games against the Rockets in place of Paul.

MORE NEWS: Three Takeaways From Dodgers 2021 Season, NLCS

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)