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Paul sits out Bulls game with concussion

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CHICAGO — New Orleans star Chris Paul sat out Monday's game against the Chicago Bulls and is day to day while he recovers from a concussion.

Coach Monty Williams said the four-time All-Star "looked a lot better than he did sitting on that floor" Sunday night in Cleveland, when he collided with Cavaliers guard Ramon Sessions, but the Hornets won't rush him back.

They next play Dallas on Wednesday. Paul was at the arena Monday but did not make himself available for comment before the game. Jarrett Jack started in his place.

Paul was injured in the third quarter against the Cavaliers, when he lost the ball driving into the lane and hit his forehead on Sessions' right shoulder. Paul stayed on the floor as trainers from both teams attended to him.

Paul, who was moving his legs and feet, was placed on a flat board and a brace was put on his neck. He was wheeled to the locker room and gave a thumbs up to the crowd as he left the court.

The Hornets said Paul was fully conscious and never lost any feeling anywhere. He was taken to the Cleveland Clinic for precautionary tests, then rejoined the Hornets at the arena and accompanied them on their charter flight to Chicago.

Paul had 13 points and 11 assists in 26 minutes in New Orleans' 96-81 victory.

"He looked good this morning in the meeting," Williams said. "He took that brace off his neck. He was watching film intently, as if he was playing the game. I know he's in some pain. You don't take a hit like that and not be in some pain, but people don't realize how tough that kid is. He's played through pain all year long, with his knee and his hip. His knee is back to 100 percent. He takes falls all the time, but last night was a different scenario. I almost have to be the uncle/father/brother, and just say, 'Look, dude, you're not playing tonight.'"

Williams said he suffered several concussions, but, "that was back before they started saying they were concussions. You had a headache for two, three days, they were like, 'Drink more water and take an aspirin or something.' It's not something you want to play with."

These days, head trauma is a hot-button topic in sports, particularly in the NFL, but the NBA is not immune. In recent weeks, Phoenix's Vince Carter suffered lingering dizziness after a collision with teammate Channing Frye. Miami's Mike Miller was seen in a wheelchair after a game against Indiana in which he took a hit to the head.

Now, Paul.

"You see a lot of things that are going on with concussions, recently with football and all the studies," New Orleans' Quincy Pondexter said. "You have to be really cautious when it comes to a concussion. It's a serious thing. We're all aware that it's a case by case situation. I hope he (Paul) gets back as soon as possible, but you need to be careful."

Added Williams: "You stop thinking about basketball for a minute and worry about the person. I was just happy to see him walking last night, taking a shower. He had that neck brace off."