Paul frustrated on Clippers return

Updated: 

Chris Paul was disappointed he could not inspire the Los Angeles Clippers to victory on Friday as he made his long-awaited NBA return against the San Antonio Spurs.

The 31-year-old point guard had missed the last 14 Clippers games due to a ligament tear in his left thumb, but was able to play 33 minutes at Staples Center.

He may have scored 17 points but it was not enough as his side slipped to a 105-97 defeat, the Spurs finishing strongly to take the win in Los Angeles.

And frustration was Paul's overriding emotion despite the relief at getting back out on the court, the All-Star wearing a small wrap to protect his injured digit.

"The only thing that mattered is how we did as a team," Paul said following the loss.

"I came out unscathed, which was great. It felt great to be back on the court.

"A tough loss, but it felt good to get through the entire game."