Westbrook out past All-Star game following knee surgery

Westbrook out past All-Star game following knee surgery
December 27, 2013, 3:45 pm
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In the first meeting between the Wizards and Thunder, Russell Westbrook missed the final few minutes following a late game ejection.

The All Star guard won't make the rematch following a late December knee surgery.

Wesstbrook underwent arthroscopic surgery on his right knee Friday and will sit until some time after the All-Star break, according to reports. The stat-stuffing guard is averaging 21.3 points, 7.0 assists and 6.0 rebounds. He also underwent knee surgery back in April, derailing the Thunder's title hopes last season, and in October.

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The Thunder, owners of the second best record in the Western Conference at 23-5, visit Washington on Feb. 1. That would be one of 27 games Wesbtrook miss should he return immediately after the February 16 All Star game in New Orleans.

The NBA's second-highest scoring team, Oklahoma City sits 1/2 game behind Portland and one game ahead of San Antonio in the Western Conference standings. The Thunder still have Kevin Durant, of course, along with big man Serge Ibaka. The pieces behind their top three options are the concern. Interesting and perhaps exciting in some cases, but the likes of point guard Reggie Jackson and outside threat Jeremy Lamb must now take on a substantially larger role for OKC to remain in the Western Conference title chase. 

Westbrook's knee must hold up from there if the Thunder are to challenge the Heat, Spurs and other to contenders for an NBA title.

The Wizards blew a fourth quarter and lost 106-105 at Oklahoma City on Nov. 10.

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