A loss to the Chicago Bulls that didn't need to happen was even more costly than the New Orleans Hornets imagined.
All-Star point guard Chris Paul hurt his left knee chasing a needless court-length pass by David West Friday night during a 108-106 overtime loss to the Bulls. As a result, Paul will have the knee scoped and is expected to miss at least a month, sources confirmed to CBSSports.com Sunday night.
More will be known about the severity of a meniscus tear in Paul's left knee once the scope is performed Monday, but it's clear that he will miss the All-Star Game and at least a month of time. Yahoo! Sports first reported that Paul would need surgery.
One person familiar with the situation told CBSSports.com that Paul tweaked the knee Wednesday night in a 123-110 victory at Golden State. On Friday night, the Hornets appeared to have a victory over the Bulls wrapped up when West threw a court-length pass out of Paul's reach in the final seconds of regulation. Paul aggravated the knee, and the Bulls parlayed the turnover into an overtime-forcing basket.
Paul's absence will not only impair the Hornets' quest for a playoff spot, it also will open an All-Star spot for Denver's Chauncey Billups or Golden State's Monta Ellis, two deserving Western Conference guards who were left off the coaches' list of reserves named last week.