The Oklahoma City Thunder picked up their fourth straight win on Tuesday night in Atlanta with a 119-107 win over the Hawks, keeping them a half game up on the Timberwolves for the fourth seed in the West.
Russell Westbrook picked up his 100th career triple double in the win with 32 points, 12 rebounds and 12 assists to lead the way in the victory, but his star cohort Paul George was forced out of action in the third quarter after an awkward landing, forcing him to leave for the locker room from which he did not return.
After the game, Billy Donovan told reporters George had suffered a groin injury on the play and that he would be reevaluated on Wednesday to determine the severity of the injury. For now, there’s no timetable for his return but Donovan was quick to say the team would be “cautious” with him and would “closely monitor” the situation.
George had 12 points, four rebounds and three assists in just over 25 minutes prior to his injury, which precipitated the Westbrook fourth quarter takeover. While OKC will be wise to be cautious with George, as groin injuries are easily worsened by rushing back, they do find themselves in something of a precarious position in such a hotly contested Western Conference.
OKC has a 2.5 game lead over the four-way tie for seventh through 10th in the West so there isn’t too much breathing room should George need to miss any kind of significant time. The good news is the Thunder have two days off before a home game against the Clippers on Friday, and hopefully George’s injury will be revealed to be minor.
George said he felt “alright” after the game and was hopeful to play in that game on Friday.