The Houston Rockets may be without Russell Westbrook when they enter the first round of the playoffs next week.
Westbrook underwent an MRI that revealed a strained muscle in his right quadriceps, the team said on Wednesday before their 108-104 loss to the Indiana Pacers at Walt Disney World, via ESPN’s Tim MacMahon.
Westbrook did not play on Wednesday and will not play in their final seeding game against the Philadelphia 76ers on Friday either. He will be evaluated again before the playoffs start on Monday.
Westbrook missed two games inside the bubble while dealing with pain in his right quad, though played 28 minutes in their 123-105 loss to the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday — where he put up 20 points and had six assists.
The 31-year-old has averaged 27.2 points, 7.9 rebounds and seven assists so far this season, his 12th in the league and first in Houston.
The Rockets have gone 4-3 so far inside the bubble, and are set to enter the postseason with the No. 4 seed in the Western Conference. Though it’s unclear how long he will be gone, any significant time missed will undoubtedly hinder the Rockets’ chances at a successful postseason run.
Rockets fall to Pacers
Despite building up a quick 15-point lead in the first quarter, Houston stumbled in the final minutes en route to a four-point loss to Indiana on Wednesday afternoon.
Indiana used a 13-3 run midway through the fourth quarter to grab a 14-point lead and held on in the final two minutes while limiting Houston to just two points to pick up their fifth win inside the bubble.
Myles Turner and Justin Holiday each dropped 18 points for the Pacers, and Edmond Sumner put up 17 off the bench.
James Harden nearly put up a triple-double in the loss for Houston. He finished with 45 points, while shooting 7-of-14 from behind the arc, and had 17 rebounds and nine assists.
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