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Russell Westbrook to miss start of playoff series

/ 02:41 PM August 14, 2020
Russell Westbrook NBA

FILE PHOTO: Houston Rockets guard Russell Westbrook (0) looks on from center court during the first half of a NBA basketball game against the San Antonio Spurs at The Field House. Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Houston Rockets guard Russell Westbrook will miss the start of next week’s playoff series against the Oklahoma City Thunder due to a strained right quadriceps muscle, the Houston Chronicle first reported Thursday.

The report, citing a “person with knowledge of the team’s thinking,” said the nine-time All-Star will be out for the first few games and possibly longer. ESPN also confirmed the report.

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Westbrook, 31, was already ruled out of Friday’s regular-season finale against the Philadelphia 76ers after an MRI confirmed the injury.

The team said he will be re-evaluated before the playoffs start near Orlando. The Rockets and Thunder are tied at 44-27 entering Thursday. The teams are locked into the No. 4 vs. No. 5 matchup in the Western Conference, with only the seeding to be determined.

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Westbrook played his first 11 seasons with Oklahoma City before being traded to Houston on July 16, 2019, in a blockbuster deal that sent fellow All-Star Chris Paul to the Thunder.

Westbrook was late to join the NBA’s restart after he tested positive for COVID-19. He first felt soreness in his right quad Aug. 4 after a game against the Portland Trail Blazers, sitting out the next two games as a precaution.

He has played four games during the restart, scoring 24.3 points with 6.3 rebounds and 7.8 assists. The 12-year veteran, who is in his first season with the Rockets, has averaged 27.2 points this season with 7.9 rebounds and 7.0 assists.

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TAGS: Basketball, NBA, NBA restart, Oklahoma City Thunder, Russell Westbrook, Sports
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