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Russell Westbrook to sit out vs. Pistons on second half of back-to-back

Rockets, Russell Westbrook

Houston Rockets star Russell Westbrook will miss Saturday’s game against the Detroit Pistons due to it being the second half of a back-to-back, according to Rod Beard of The Detroit News.

Westbrook is not known to be dealing with any injuries, so this is probably just some good old-fashioned load management.

In the 23 games he has played this season, Westbrook is averaging 22.5 points, eight rebounds, 7.3 assists and 1.7 steals over 34.5 minutes per game while shooting 42.5 percent from the floor, 23.3 percent from three-point range and 75.9 percent from the free-throw line.

The 31-year-old Westbrook is in his first year with the Rockets after coming over in a trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder in July.

Westbrook had previously spent the first 11 seasons of his career with the Thunder, making eight All-Star appearances and earning the NBA’s Most Valuable Player award in 2017.

Westbrook has also averaged triple-doubles in three straight seasons, although that stretch appears to be coming to an end this year, largely due to the fact that Westbrook is playing alongside a fellow stat-stuffer in James Harden.

While Westbrook ran into some injury issues midway through his career, playing in just 46 games in 2013-14 and 67 games the following year, he has been something of an ironman since 2015-16. He has appeared in 80, 81, 80 and 73 contests over the last four seasons, respectively.

Westbrook owns career averages of 23 points, 8.4 assists, seven boards and 1.8 steals across 34.5 minutes a night.

Houston has gotten off to a 17-8 start this season and has won four of its last five games.