Oklahoma City At Houston
When: 9:30 PM
ET, Saturday, April 27, 2013
Where: Toyota Center, Houston, Texas
Oklahoma City will be without star point guard Russell Westbrook for the rest of the first-round Western Conference series with the Houston Rockets and the entire playoffs after undergoing knee surgery on Saturday. Westbrook tore meniscus cartilage in his right knee during Wednesday’s Game 2 when Houston rookie Patrick Beverley went for a steal and banged into the knee as Westbrook was signaling for a timeout. Oklahoma City has a 2-0 lead heading into Saturday’s game in Houston.
The Thunder struggled with Houston’s lineup and strategy revisions in Game 2. Beverley moved into the starting lineup and contributed 16 points and 12 rebounds while going toe-to-toe with Westbrook. “I thought the lineup gave them a little issue,” forward Chandler Parsons said. “When we space the floor like that, they can’t guard us. I think we showed that and proved that we can score on them.” Houston also had 18 offensive rebounds and had a 57-40 overall edge on the boards, and Thunder coach Scott Brooks wasn’t thrilled with the overall performance. “We won the game so we’re happy with that,” Brooks said. “We’re not saying we’re satisfied but we’re happy. We did a lot of good things, but we also have to understand that they’re really good.”
TV: 9:30 p.m. ET, ESPN, Fox Sports Oklahoma, Comcast SportsNet Houston
ABOUT THE THUNDER: Second-year pro Reggie Jackson will likely move into the starting lineup with Westbrook sidelined. Jackson averaged 7.5 points and 21 minutes in the first two contests. He averaged 5.3 points and 1.7 assists in the regular season. Veteran Derek Fisher is capable of playing some minutes at the point and Brooks indicated Friday that star forward Kevin Durant will be asked to help with the ball-handling. Durant hopes Westbrook can return before the playoffs end. “We’re not trying to rush him or bring him back ahead of schedule,” Durant said. “We want to make sure he’s healthy and his knee is right. That’s our only concern with it right now.”
ABOUT THE ROCKETS: Whether or not Houston has point guard Jeremy Lin available will be decided prior to Game 3. Lin missed the second half of Game 2 and underwent an MRI exam on Thursday that revealed he has a bruised muscle in his chest. Lin hopes he can play but his optimism was tempered by the fact he was unable to shoot the basketball on Thursday. “I really don’t know because this is something that should heal quickly, but right now I’m not there yet so I don’t know when I will be (able to play).” Lin was 4-of-14 shooting for 11 total points in the first two games.
1. Houston G James Harden had 36 points in Game 2 and is averaging 28 points and 8.5 rebounds in the series.
2. Thunder F Serge Ibaka has nine blocks in the two games while averaging 14.5 points and nine rebounds.
3. The Rockets are 18-of-71 from 3-point range through two games.
PREDICTION: Rockets 109, Thunder 105
Stats and Records
Houston Off vs
Oklahoma City Def
105.7 Points For
96.5 Points Against