> Tonight on NBA TV: Rockets vs. Thunder (8 ET)
NBA fans will have to wait until Christmas Day to see Russell Westbrook and the new-look Oklahoma City Thunder battle James Harden, Chris Paul and the re-tooled Houston Rockets.
Thunder coach Billy Donovan confirmed that Westbrook will miss the preseason opener against Houston due to minor left knee issues. Patrick Patterson and Alex Abrines will also miss the game with left knee injuries.
The injury to Westbrook doesn't seem serious as he was able to participate in contact portions of practice on Monday.
“Russell did more today, which was good,” coach Donovan said after practice on Monday. “Today was the first day that he did contact. [...] But he looked fine out there. There was no ill effects from anything. We got up and down and worked in the halfcourt, and he was there for every bit of it.”
The Thunder's next preseason game is against the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday.