Chris Paul thought Caron Butler was "crazy" for playing in Game 3 of the first-round playoff series against Memphis with a fractured left hand.

Paul also said he had to commend Butler for gutting out 22 minutes of pain Saturday afternoon at Staples Center.

Butler was injured in the third quarter of Game 1 in Memphis last Sunday night. He didn't play in Game 2 and was supposed to be sidelined four to six weeks recovering from the injury.

But Butler practiced Friday and decided to play Sunday.

"He is crazy," Paul said. "He is crazy, seriously."

Butler, who wore a black brace on his hand, had just four points, but it was more than that. It was his presence that inspired his teammates.

Paul said he had talked to Butler on Friday and saw him come to practice with his hand wrapped up in "a little contraption" and found out he was going to play.

"I was like, 'What are you doing?' That was my first thing," Paul said. "But, man, I commend him. It would have been so easy for him to say, 'I'm done. I'm going to take care of my hand and I'll be ready next year.

"But that's one thing Coach [Vinny Del Negro] said before the game. 'If he can fight with pretty much a broken hand, what can the rest of us do?' He didn't play but so many minutes tonight. But just his energy and just his toughness is something that I think motivated the rest of us. That is unreal to see the pain he went out there with and was playing through."