Did Suns point guard Chris Paul deliver a low blow to Pelicans rookie Jose Alvarado in Tuesday’s 112-97 Game 5 win over the Pelicans?
Paul appeared to kick Alvarado in the groin when he pulled up for a jumper near the free-throw line with 4:36 left before halftime.
Alvarado was hounding Paul on defense during the play when the Suns led 46-35 in the second quarter.
In videos on social media, Paul appears to jerk his leg up in the air, making contact with Alvarado, who immediately bends over while grabbing his midsection.
There was no call on the play, but social media critics are questioning if it was an intentional move by Paul.
“I got him. I got him,” said Alvarado, who has agitated Paul throughout the series. “That’s one thing I wanted to do actually, I got him on my list.”
The Suns-Pelicans series has been tense throughout, with No. 8-seeded New Orleans pushing the Western Conference favorites to the limit. Paul has butted heads with a number of Pelicans players, including Brandon Ingram and rookie Herb Jones — who got chippy with Paul in Game 4.
The Pelicans’ defense has been sticking like glue to Paul, whom the Suns are heavily relying on in Devin Booker’s absence. The All-Star shooting guard is expected to miss a few weeks with a Grade 1 right hamstring strain he suffered in Game 2.
Game 6 is set for Thursday in New Orleans at 7:30 p.m.