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Rockets’ Austin Rivers out vs. Lakers, could play Monday vs. Thunder

Austin Rivers, Rockets

The Houston Rockets will be without combo guard Austin Rivers on Saturday against the Los Angeles Lakers.

Rivers had some ligament damage in his finger during Houston’s game against the Memphis Grizzlies. He could play on Monday, though, versus the Oklahoma City Thunder:

The Rockets are 26-14 on the season. They are in fifth place in the Western Conference standings.

In 38 games this season for the Rockets, Rivers is averaging 7.7 points, 2.3 rebounds and 1.6 assists. He’s shooting 40.2 percent from the field, 30.3 percent from beyond the arc and 69.8 percent from the free-throw line.

The Rockets are 14-5 at home, 12-9 on the road and 15-10 against Western Conference teams. Those are splits most teams would be content with, but GM Daryl Morey and Houston are trying to win the championship this season and the Rockets’ architect knows his group has to be more consistent moving forward.

Houston will go as far as James Harden and Russell Westbrook can take them. The two MVPs are both putting up stellar numbers, but wins are more important to them at this juncture of their careers.

Houston had a team meeting after losing to the Portland Trail Blazers at home. We’ll see if the team looks and plays like a different group on Saturday against the Lakers.