Westbrook Hurt Again In Thunder Win
Thunder All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook left Toronto's Air Canada Centre Friday night looking a lot better than Thunder fans everywhere feared just a couple hours earlier.
In the third quarter of Friday night's game with the Raptors Westbrook had to leave the contest after bumping knees with Raptors point guard Kyle Lowry.
Westbrook was helped to the lockerroom by Thunder trainer Joe Sharpe and backup center Hasheem Thabeet favoring his right knee, the same knee he's had operated on three times.
Thunder officials announced Westbrook had suffered a sprained knee and that he would be evaluated further Saturday in Oklahoma City.
But in the lockerroom right after the game, a thrilling 119-118 Thunder win in double-overtime, head coach Scott Brooks asked Westbrook how he was and Westbrook told his coach, "I'm good."
The Oklahoman's Darnell Mayberry, in Toronto, said Westbrook walked to the team bus without a limp, without a knee brace and without crutches and vowed not to miss any time.
That would appear to be the perfect way to cap off a night that saw the Thunder claw and scrap and fight their way to an impressive win on the second night of a back-to-back.
Kevin Durant had a huge night and appeared to shift into hyper-drive when Westbrook left the game. KD hit the game-winning 3-pointer in double overtime and finished with 51 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists. That game winner was one of seven threes Durant splashed.
He was a force at both ends of the floor, especially late in the game and told an interviewer he couldn't afford to think about how tired he was.
A double overtime game against a quality opponent like the Raptors isn't exactly what you want on the second night of a back-to-back, especially when one of your superstar players goes down with what could have been a serious knee injury.
Westbrook left after having scored 15 points and as determined as Durant became to take over the game after that, backup point guard Reggie Jackson also came up with a superb effort.
Jackson finished with 25 points (two shy of his career high) and 12 rebounds (a new career high).
The Thunder won't practice Saturday (they never do after a back-to-back) and may not Sunday either. They will host the Denver Nuggets Monday night and then head down to Dallas for a Tuesday game against the Mavs.