Monty Williams originally planned to sit Chris Paul for the Phoenix Suns' 100-92 win over of the Los Angeles Lakers in Game 4.
"He said, 'Coach, let me start, and if you don't think I'm looking like I normally do, then take me out and we'll have to go in a different direction,'" said Williams of a pre-game conversation with Paul that changed his mind.
Paul finished the game with 18 points and nine assists.
Paul told his teammates that he would only play if he could help the team.
"I told them, 'I don't know how long it's going to be, but if you all feel like I'm out here looking like some trash, just tell me and I'll get out," said Paul.
Game 5 is on Tuesday. Anthony Davis' status is currently "unclear" due to a groin injury.