NBA Notebook

Rockets’ Russell Westbrook to miss start of series with Oklahoma City

Russell Westbrook (right) is nursing an injury that could cost him some games in the playoffs.
Russell Westbrook (right) is nursing an injury that could cost him some games in the playoffs.Kevin C. Cox/Associated Press

Russell Westbrook is expected to miss the start of the Houston Rockets’ first-round series against the Oklahoma City Thunder next week because of a strained right quadriceps.

The nine-time all-star guard is a central figure in the series between the two Southwest Division rivals, as the Rockets acquired him in a blockbuster trade for the Thunder’s Chris Paul last summer.

Westbrook averaged 27.2 points, 7.9 rebounds and 7 assists this season.

West play-in series set

The Portland Trail Blazers escaped the Brooklyn Nets, 134-133, and will play the Memphis Grizzlies in a best-of-three play-in series to determine the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Jonas Valanciunas and Ja Morant had triple-doubles to help Memphis wrap up its spot with a 119-106 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks . . . Devin Booker scored 27 points and the Phoenix Suns rolled past the Dallas Mavericks, 128-102, to finish as the only unbeaten team (8-0) in the restart of the season. The Suns were eliminated from the playoffs with Portland’s win over the Nets.


Spurs’ playoff streak ends

San Antonio’s record-tying run of 22 consecutive postseason appearances ended, with the Spurs being eliminated from contention for the West play-in series. The Spurs needed the Grizzlies or the Suns to lose to have any chance of competing for the last playoff spot … Buddy Hield scored 28 points, including a 3-pointer that capped Sacramento’s streak of 11 consecutive baskets made in the third period, and the Kings beat the Los Angeles Lakers, 136-122, for only their third win since the restart of the season … Nikola Vucevic scored 23 points on 10-of-11 shooting from the floor and the Orlando Magic tuned up for the postseason by beating the New Orleans Pelicans, 133-127, to snap a five-game skid.