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Westbrook injury blow for Oklahoma City (Reuters)
28 Feb 2015 at 4:44pm
(Reuters) - Oklahoma City guard Russell Westbrook underwent surgery to repair a right cheek fracture and will miss the Thunder's nextgame, the team announced on Saturday. Westbrook suffered a knee to the face at the end of Friday's game against Portland and will miss at least the contest against the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday. It comes at an inopportune time as Westbrook enjoyed a phenomenal February, averaging 31.2 points, 10.3 assists and 9.1 rebounds. With reigning MVP Kevin Durant out of Oklahoma City's lineup due to injury, Westbrook had been carrying the team.
Thunder-Lakers Preview (The Associated Press)
28 Feb 2015 at 4:36pm
There will be plenty of star power missing in Hollywood for a Sunday afternoon matchup between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Los Angeles Lakers. The red-hot Russell Westbrook won't be available for a game already missing Kevin Durant and Kobe Bryant as the Thunder try to avoid a winless three-game trip. Westbrook is the first player to record three straight triple-doubles since LeBron James did it during 2008-09. He suffered the injury after the knee of teammate Andre Roberson hit him in the final seconds of Friday's 115-112 loss to Portland.
Russell Westbrook undergoes a procedure to repair a cheek fracture (Ball Don'...
28 Feb 2015 at 2:23pm
After a frightening incident on Friday night that left Russell Westbrook with a literal crater in his right cheek , Westbrook?s immediate future with his team seemed in question. Players break noses or damage parts of their faces all the time in this contact sport, but few of these injuries looked as disturbing as Russell?s. [ Follow Dunks Don't Lie on Tumblr:  The best slams from all of basketball ] After some damage control, however, it appears as if the long-term implications of Westbrook?s Friday collision may not be all that lasting. From a Thunder press release : Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook underwent a successful procedure today to address a fracture to the zygomatic arch of his right cheek, Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti announced. The procedure was performed by Dr. John Joseph Rehm and Dr. Jason Hamilton with Thunder medical personnel present at the Osborne Head and Neck Institute in Los Angeles, Calif. Westbrook will miss tomorrow?s game against the Los Angeles Lakers and will be re-evaluated later this week. If you aren?t squeamish and haven?t seen the injury depicted in the video above, take a look at what fellow Thunder guard Anthony Roberson inadvertently did to his teammate?s face: Russ has a dent in his head from Roberson's knee pic.twitter.com/NxR3u2IOpP ? The Cauldron (@TheCauldron) February 28, 2015 As the statement points out, Westbrook will miss a contest against the lowly Lakers on Sunday, and the next Thunder game following that will come at home against the tanking Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday. The team?s next real challenge will take place the following night, when OKC travels to Chicago to grapple with a similarly injury-plagued Bulls team. The ?later this week? evaluation falls right in line with how the Thunder are handling Kevin Durant?s day-to-day situation. Durant had yet another operation to address pain in his right foot earlier in February, the result of a frightening foot fracture last fall that forced team doctors to place a screw inside of his MVP wheel. If Westbrook and Durant sit out against Los Angeles and Philadelphia, two teams with the second-worst records in their respective conferences, then the two stars would enter Thursday having missed 16 (Westbrook) and 34 (Durant) of their team?s 61 games by that point. The Thunder have mostly circled the wagons this year, considering. The team had won nine of ten in February before falling in a tough road overtime loss to the Phoenix Suns on Thursday night, and a borderline cruel Friday evening matchup with Portland that saw the Thunder go down by just four points . Westbrook has been brilliant throughout, putting up MVP-level stats all season despite playing just 33 minutes a game, but the Thunder still rank eighth in the Western Conference currently. The team isn?t exactly clinging to the final postseason seed, however, with the similarly-knackered New Orleans Pelicans working without Anthony Davis, Ryan Anderson and Jrue Holiday stuck a game in back of OKC, and those same Suns still 1.5 games back despite the win on Friday night. Even without Durant (who is scheduled to be re-evaluated soon, and could possibly come back by Wednesday) and Westbrook out against the Lakers and Sixers, those two contests should be an easy enough win for Oklahoma City provided they play to their strengths ? unleashing new guard D.J. Augustin, while working endless pick and rolls. We don?t doubt Westbrook?s willingness to return: Russell Westbrook won't miss much time with surgery. "If he had a playoff game (Sunday), he could play," league source tells Yahoo Sports. ? Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) February 28, 2015 What one does have to wonder about, however, is his ability to play through what can be an annoying and often distracting protective mask. Some players, like the recently retired Richard Hamilton or the heel-for-all-ages Bill Laimbeer, took to it. Others found it frustrating and invasive. Westbrook is a gamer, and his heart is in the right place, but that might not mean much if his routine is thrown off-kilter. The Thunder have endured terrible luck this season with injuries, but they?ve also put themselves in a place to succeed ? either through the knockout trade deadline moves of general manager Sam Presti, or Durant and (especially) Westbrook?s MVP-level play during the contests they?ve been allowed to participate in. Grabbing that eighth spot is no guarantee at this point, but the Thunder should be the overwhelming favorite, and they should seek to rest Durant?s ailing foot and go cautious in the wake of Westbrook?s surgery. It?s always about April, possibly May and conceivably June with this crew. Just cross your fingers that both Westbrook and Durant can make it to spring without any other setbacks. - - - - - - - Kelly Dwyer is an editor for Ball Don't Lie on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at KDonhoops@yahoo.com or follow him on Twitter! Follow @KDonhoops
Blazers come from behind for 115-112 win over Thunder (The Associated Press)
28 Feb 2015 at 8:28am
After the Portland Trail Blazers overcame Russell Westbrook's third straight triple-double, Damian Lillard sensed his team was recapturing its form of earlier this season. Oklahoma City can only hope it didn't lose Westbrook along with the game. Lillard and LaMarcus Aldridge each scored 29 points and Portland rallied to beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 115-112 Friday night. Aldridge added 16 rebounds.
Bucks-Jazz Preview (The Associated Press)
27 Feb 2015 at 11:36pm
The last time the Milwaukee Bucks won in Salt Lake City, former Utah Jazz center Greg Foster was on their roster. Foster is now an assistant for coach Jason Kidd's Bucks, who will be looking to end their 12-game road losing streak against the Jazz on Saturday night. Milwaukee (32-26) has dropped 22 of its last 25 games in Utah and is winless there since a 119-112 overtime victory in the 2001-02 opener for both clubs. Foster, a member of the Jazz's back-to-back Western Conference championship teams from 1997-98, was in his lone season with the Bucks at that time.
Westbrook dominates again, but Blazers come back to top Thunder (Ball Don't Lie)
27 Feb 2015 at 11:07pm
Ellington's big 4th quarter helps Lakers beat Bucks 101-93 (The Associated Pr...
27 Feb 2015 at 10:59pm
No matter that Wayne Ellington missed his first six shots through three quarters. He never lost his shooter's mentality, and it paid off in the final six minutes of the game, when Ellington scored 11 straight points to help the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Milwaukee Bucks 101-93 Friday night for their season high-tying third straight victory. ''I'm a confident player,'' Ellington said. Ellington finished with 14 - all in the final period - and Jordan Hill and Jeremy Lin added 14 points apiece.
NBA-Highlights of Friday's NBA games (Reuters)
27 Feb 2015 at 10:47pm
Feb 27 (The Sports Xchange) - Highlights of Friday's National Basketball Association games: - - - Warriors 113, Raptors 89 Guard Klay Thompson scored 25 points as the Golden State Warriors demolished the Toronto Raptors 113-89. The Raptors (37-21) trailed by a massive 41 points after three quarters en route to their fourth successive loss. They shot 1-for-19 from the field in the opening stanza, the poorest shooting quarter in Raptors history. Festus Ezeli of the Warriors and Toronto's Tyler Hansbrough were ejected late in the third for an altercation. ...
Favors has 21 points, 10 rebounds for Jazz (The Associated Press)
27 Feb 2015 at 9:54pm
Derrick Favors had 21 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks, Trey Burke came off the bench to score 19 points and the Jazz beat the Nuggets 104-82 on Friday night. Gordon Hayward added 15 points and Rudy Gobert had 10 points and eight rebounds for the Jazz. The Jazz came into the game a little angry after blowing a 13-point lead in the fourth quarter to the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday.
Knicks top sluggish Pistons 121-115 in double OT (The Associated Press)
27 Feb 2015 at 9:24pm
After a terrible start to the season, the Detroit Pistons have worked their way back into the Eastern Conference playoff race. Shane Larkin's three-point play in the final minute of the second overtime helped the New York Knicks snap their eight-game losing streak with a 121-115 victory over the Pistons on Friday night - Detroit's latest ugly loss at the Palace to a team around the bottom of the standings. The Pistons have lost at home to each of the league's five worst teams: New York, Philadelphia, Minnesota, the Los Angeles Lakers and Orlando. ''We've had a lot of these games,'' coach Stan Van Gundy said.

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