Video: Thunder's Russell Westbrook suffers right knee sprain vs. Raptors
With a little less than eight minutes remaining in the third quarter and the Thunder leading 54-50, Westbrook dribbled back to the three-point line on the left wing with Kyle Lowry hounding him. As Westbrook pump-faked a three-point attempt, Lowry jumped toward him, contacting Westbrook's right knee with his own right knee.
Westbrook's knee appeared to bend backwards after the contact and he doubled over at the waist in pain. After calling timeout, Westbrook took a few cautious steps without putting much pressure on his right leg before he stopped and received attention from his teammates and the Thunder's trainer. The three-time All-Star immediately left the game and did not return, departing with 15 points (on 5-for-13 shooting) and three rebounds in 19 minutes.
The Toronto Sun reported after the game that Westbrook said that he "feels fine" and that he doesn't expect to miss time. Oklahoma City's next game is at home against Denver on Monday.
The 2008 lottery pick has undergone three surgeries on his right knee since injuring it during last year's postseason. Since his return in February, Westbrook has been on a minutes restriction and has rested twice in back-to-back scenarios.
Westbrook first underwent a meniscus repair surgery on his right knee back in late-April after a fluky play involving Rockets guard Patrick Beverley during the first round of the 2013 playoffs. That surgery ended his 2012-13 season, and the Thunder were eliminated in the Western Conference semifinals by the Grizzlies. The sixth-year guard then underwent surgery in October to address swelling caused by a loose stitch from the first surgery. Although he was initially expected to miss the first four-to-six weeks of the season, he returned after sitting out the preseason and Oklahoma City’s first two games. Westbrook then missed nearly two months following Oklahoma City's blowout victory over New York on Christmas Day, as he was forced to undergo another arthroscopic procedure to address swelling in his knee in late-December.
The 25-year-old Westbrook is averaging 21.4 points, 7.2 assists, 5.8 rebounds and 1.9 steals in 36 appearances this season. The UCLA product is in the second year of a five-year rookie contract extension worth an estimated $80 million.
Oklahoma City improved to 51-18 with their third straight victory thanks to 51 points and a game-winning three-pointer from Kevin Durant. Toronto dropped to 38-30 with the loss. Video via YouTube user Daily Thunder