Russell Westbrook Out for Game 1 vs. Thunder, Eric Gordon to Start

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Rockets guard Russell Westbrook will sit out Game 1 of Houston's series against the Thunder on Tuesday, head coach Mike D'Antoni confirmed. 

Westbrook is expected to miss at least "a few games" in the first round of the playoffs due to a strained right quad, according to the Houston Chronicle's Jonathan Feigen. Westbrook will continue to be evaluated throughout the first round as he eyes a return to the court. 

"It's not something that's going to miraculously go away tomorrow," D'Antoni told the media in a Zoom call on Sunday. "It's going to be a few days."

Guard Eric Gordon will start in Westbrook's place, per D'Antoni. The 12-year veteran will begin the contest defending Oklahoma City point guard Chris Paul.

It's been a dismal year for Gordon, one marred by a slate of injuries and shooting woes. Gordon underwent knee surgery in November, and he subsequently dealt with a slate of ankle and shin injuries. Gordon played in just two seeding games in Orlando after spraining his ankle in a scrimmage against the Celtics on July 28. 

Gordon is shooting a career-worst 36.9% from the field this season, and his 31.7% finish from three is the second-worst mark of his career. But despite his season-long struggles, Gordon believes his best play of the season is ahead of him. 

"I felt pretty good out there," Gordon said after Wednesday's loss to the Pacers. "I've still got to get my timing back right and mechanics of getting into my shot. That will come in time. But it was good to show explosiveness and all that."

Game 1 vs. Oklahoma City on Tuesday is slated to begin at 5:30 p.m. CT. Forward Danuel House is expected to play after missing the last two seeding games with a toe sprain.