VIDEO: Rockets star Russell Westbrook scores first playoff points against Thunder
The Houston Rockets got a boost ahead of their pivotal Game 5 matchup with the Oklahoma City Thunder with the return of All-Star guard Russell Westbrook. Russ missed the first four games of the playoffs — eight of the team’s last nine contests overall — with a quad injury.
Westbrook made his presence known early. He nailed a mid-range jumper in the opening minutes for his first postseason bucket as a member of the Rockets, as well as his first career playoff points against the team for which he won an MVP (2017) and made eight All-Star teams.
Russ’ first playoff points with the Rockets. Against his old squad.
— NBA on ESPN (@ESPNNBA) August 29, 2020
Russell Westbrook was traded to the Rockets during the summer of 2019 in exchange for Chris Paul, first-round picks in 2024 and 2026, pick swaps in 2021 and 2025, and cash considerations. One year later, both teams have gotten excellent returns from the stars they acquired.
Westbrook averaged 27.2 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 7.0 assists in his first season in Houston. He also shot 47.2 percent from the field and 76.3 percent from the free-throw line.
On the other hand, Paul led a ragtag Thunder group to a 44-28 record and the no. 5 seed in the Western Conference. The Point God averaged 17.6 points and 6.7 assists per game in 2019-20, all while providing hyper-efficient clutch shooting and typically elite defense.
Despite Westbrook’s absence, the Rockets handled the Thunder easily through the first two games of the series, securing two double-digit victories. Oklahoma City bounced back to take Games 3 and 4, with Paul dropping 26 points in each game.
Houston led 24-14 at the end of the first quarter of Game 5. Westbrook posted seven points on 2-for-4 shooting plus one assist.
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