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Houston Rockets vs. Oklahoma City Thunder game 3 preview

The Rockets take on the Thunder in the first playoff game in Houston since 2009. Of course, that will be overshadowed by the Russell Westbrook news.

Christian Petersen

I hate injuries. As a Rockets fan, we've seen far too many of them in the last decade or three. So when I found out about the Russell Westbrook meniscus tear, I can tell you that I felt awful.

Sure, the Rockets are more likely to win a game now. I had the Thunder in a sweep before the series started, and now I have the Thunder in 5. I mean, who knows how the Thunder will respond? And the Rockets will now have to game plan in a completely different way.

Lost in the Westbrook injury shuffle is the chest bruise to Jeremy Lin, who is still questionable for tomorrow. I've never actually seen that injury before, but it seems painful. Here's to quick recoveries for both point guards.

But that isn't the point tonight. For the first time since game 6 against the Lakers in the Western Conference semifinals in 2009, Houston is hosting a playoff game at the Toyota Center. The city is going crazy and the Yote should be rocking. This a young team taking the first step towards relevance. A lot of good things start tonight.

After game 1, I said I wanted the Rockets to show some fight. I don't care if they lose every game by 30, but at least give me something. Don't get embarrassed. Don't stop trying. Don't give up. The Rockets played game 2 like a team that cared and thought they could win. That's all I wanted.

Tonight, I want a win. I've been pretty realistic with the Rockets in this series. The Thunder are the better team and a sweep seemed likely. With no Westbrook, the Rockets now have a chance to steal a game, and tonight will be their best chance.

Game tip-off set for 8:30 pm CST on ESPN.

Update: Jason Friedman gives us some quotes about the Jeremy Lin injury and says that Greg Smith is a game-time decision with a stomach illness. Link.

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