Russell Westbrook, Eric Gordon Likely Out for Rockets vs. Kings

Michael Shapiro

The Rockets expect both Russell Westbrook and Eric Gordon to sit out Sunday's contest against the Kings, according to head coach Mike D'Antoni.

D'Antoni said the decision to sit the pair of guards came as a cautionary measure. Westbrook missed Thursday's win over the Lakers due to a bruised quad, while Eric Gordon has not played since injuring his ankle in a scrimmage on July 28. 

“We just want to be really careful,” D’Antoni told the media in a Zoom call on Saturday. "[Westbrook and Gordon] both should be able to play a couple games before the playoffs.” 

D'Antoni has expressed his wish for Gordon to play in at least one seeding game in Orlando. Westbrook could receive additional rest in Houston's remaining four seeding games before the Rockets begin the 2020 postseason.

Houston's bench will be tested once again with Westbrook and Gordon out of the lineup. James Harden's supporting cast certainly stepped up against Los Angeles on Sunday, with seven players hitting multiple threes. Ben McLemore canned five triples en route to 20 points, while Jeff Green added 15 points off the bench. Houston has no shortage of firepower, even with two dynamic guards out of the lineup.

"[McLemore] and Jeff Green played unbelievable in the first half," D'Antoni said after Tuesday's win. "They've been playing great for us. Those are two guys that should be big contributors for us in the playoffs."

Harden and the Rockets are now 3–1 in Orlando with wins over the Mavericks, Bucks and Lakers. Houston now sits No. 4 in the Western Conference at 43–25.