Houston F Motiejunas has season-ending back surgery

HOUSTON (AP) Houston forward Donatas Motiejunas will miss the rest of the season after back surgery.

The 7-foot Motiejunas last played on March 25 and had minimally invasive spine surgery called a lumbar microdiscectomy on Thursday.

Motiejunas, who is in his third season, averaged career bests in points (12), rebounds (5.9) and assists (1.8) this season. He played a key role for the Rockets with center Dwight Howard missing significant time with a knee injury earlier this year. Motiejunas appeared in 71 games with 62 starts and his 28.7 minutes a game were a career high.

His injury is another blow to a Houston team that already lost point guard Patrick Beverley to season-ending wrist surgery as the playoffs approach.

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