Rockets lose Victor Oladipo, PJ Tucker to leg injuries vs. Heat

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Ben DuBose
·2 min read
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Already without star big man Christian Wood (right ankle sprain), the slumping Houston Rockets — who entered with three straight losses — lost two more starters during Thursday’s home game versus Miami.

Veteran forward PJ Tucker (left thigh contusion) and guard Victor Oladipo (sore right foot and ankle) each left the court during the third quarter and did not return to the game. Oladipo entered Thursday as Houston’s leading scorer (19.6 points per game) among active players, while Tucker has long been known as one of the league’s elite defenders.

Oladipo was visibly limping late in the first half after a collision with Miami guard Max Strus. When the Rockets returned to the court for their second-half warmups, Oladipo did some jogging and agility work under close supervision by Houston’s training staff. After speaking with head coach Stephen Silas and veteran John Wall, Oladipo went back to the locker room, and Eric Gordon started in his place.

Minutes later, Oladipo surprisingly re-emerged and entered the game in an unusual role off the bench. However, he only played a few minutes before leaving the game for good and returning to the locker room.

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It wasn’t clear when Tucker suffered his injury, but he was late making his way back to the court after halftime — which suggests it may have also occurred in the first half. He limped through several possessions during the third quarter and eventually went back to the locker room.

Tucker hasn’t missed a game in the regular season or playoffs since signing with the Rockets in July 2017. Overall, he has the NBA’s longest active streak of consecutive games played at 265. Conceivably, that could be in jeopardy when Houston next plays on Saturday in New York.

Houston led Thursday’s game by six points at halftime, but Miami outscored them by 18 during a disastrous third quarter — headlined by the injuries to Oladipo and Tucker. Further information could be made available when Silas conducts his postgame media session with reporters.

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