NBA Picks: Thunder vs. Rockets Game 3

Steven Suarez

Saturday, April 27, 2013 7:51 PM UTC

Saturday, Apr. 27, 2013 7:51 PM UTC

How will Kevin Durant and the Thunder respond to the devastating loss of Russell Westbrook? Check out our Game 3 pick inside.

Odds Overview

Oklahoma City opened up as a three-point favorite, but when news of Westbrook's injury broke, that number was quickly down to one. The spread has even reached a PK at some NBA betting sites.

Perhaps you'd be better off focusing on a total play for Game 3. The O/U has also seen its fair share of movement, heading from an opening number of 211.5 all the way down to 207, which was the number at time of writing.

Oklahoma City Thunder

Westbrook has undergone surgery for a torn meniscus and will be out indefinitely, severely hurting Oklahoma City's title aspirations.

The durable point guard was presumably hurt on a play when Patrick Beverley lunged for a steal and caught Westbrook. Though a questionable decision, it was hardly a dirty move from Beverley. Don't tell that to Westbrook though.

The former UCLA star stayed in regardless and finished with 29 points, five rebounds, four assists, and four steals in just over 37 minutes of OKC's 105-102 win. Kevin Durant had a 29/9/4 line, while Serge Ibaka came up with 12 points, 11 boards, and six blocks.

Obviously Durant has to step up his game even more so now, with the supporting cast also needing to elevate their play.

Reggie Jackson should pick up a bulk of Westbrook's minutes, while Kevin Martin and Derek Fisher will get plenty of run as well. As it turns out, adding Fisher to the roster late in the season has turned out to be a much-needed move.

Check out our NBA odds page to stay live on the lines!~

Houston Rockets

The Rockets showcased their battling spirit in Game 2 despite falling just short. They never backed down and made a big run in the second half to make Thunder fans a little uneasy.

Kevin McHale opted to move Beverley into the starting lineup in place of Greg Smith, hoping that the smaller and more athletic lineup would give Oklahoma City some issues. The move paid off, as Beverley exploded for 16 points, 12 rebounds, and six assists, with his energy really lifting Houston throughout.

As for James Harden, he was his usual brilliant self. He ended up with 36 points, 11 rebounds and six dimes. He was 17-of-20 from the free throw line, but was a little too careless (six turnovers) in the loss.

Though unable to steal away a game in OKC, the Rockets had to be encouraged by the fight they brought on the road.

We know Harden is always going to get his points, but Houston needs the likes of Chandler Parsons, Omer Asik, Jeremy Lin, and Carlos Delfino to be aggressive on the offensive end as well. If they rise to the occasion, the Rockets are going to be mighty tough to beat.

Check out the Clippers vs. Grizzlies~


Game 3 Pick

This is a very dangerous spot for Houston. Yes, Westbrook is out and that's a blow, but who knows how the Thunder will respond here.

Disperse Westbrook's plethora of shots to the likes of Durant and Martin and you're going to have yourself a more efficient team on the offensive end. Durant has come out and said that he knows he can lead this team and here is his first chance to back that statement up.

A vast portion of the public is going to side with Houston to get the job done in a must-win situation, but we are going with Oklahoma City to defy the odds. This is still a terrific basketball team regardless of the injury and we think we'll see others step up to fill the void.

Pick: Oklahoma City Thunder PK at BET365

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