It’s not so much that the Oklahoma City Thunder are already without Kevin Durant. It’s that Durant’s sweet-shooting reserve, Anthony Morrow, is also injured. It’s that his potential perimeter complement, hybrid guard Reggie Jackson, is nursing an ankle injury. It’s that James Harden’s hoped-for replacement, Jeremy Lamb, is out with a bad back.
Now, another dagger. All-Star point man Russell Westbrook had to leave the Thunder's 93-90 loss to the Clippers on Thursday night because of a fractured second metacarpal in his right hand.
Thunder coach Scott Brooks, according to reporters at the game, did not reveal how much time Westbrook could miss.
Here’s how it happened:
It’s unclear if Westbrook hurt the hand while bashing it into Kendrick Perkins’ thigh, or if the hand was caught in Perkins’ uniform. He may have injured himself while driving on Clippers reserve guard Jordan Farmar, as well. Whatever the spark, Westbrook had to leave the game after just 8:43 of frustrating play – he dished four assists, but turned the ball over three times, picked up two fouls, and missed two of three shots from the field.
Westbrook spent the rest of his team’s second game of the season with a massive wrap and ice pack surrounding his aching shooting hand. The severely undermanned Thunder attempted to keep up with a buoyant Los Angeles Clippers squad, eventually cutting the Clippers' lead to one in the final minutes. Perry Jones led the Thunder with 32 points.
Nearly as annoying was Westbrook’s exit – we’re not sure of the details, but he took offense to either a thrown object or an uncalled-for heckle while leaving the Staples Center court. TNT’s David Aldridge later reported that the fan, thankfully, was denied a chance to see the second half of the contest.
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