NBA Playoffs: Oklahoma City Thunder @ Houston Rockets Game 3

Game 3: Oklahoma City Thunder @ Houston Rockets Sat. April 27, 2013 9:30 p.m. ET

The outcome of the first round playoff series between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Houston Rockets may be drastically different after one of the superstars in the series went down with the season-ending injury.

With Russell Westbrook forced to undergo knee surgery for a torn meniscus and missing the rest of the playoffs as a result, the Thunder aren’t the unstoppable force that once dominated the competition in the Western Conference on a nightly basis.

Superstar Kevin Durant will have to shoulder the load for the rest of the way for the Thunder without Westbrook in the backcourt running the show. With Westbrook having played every game of his NBA career and Oklahoma City never having to play without the perennial All-Star, the Thunder will be in unfamiliar territory and forced to go through Durant for the majority of their offense.

Although Durant is one of the best scorers in the league, the superstar forward has benefited from the presence of Westbrook on the floor in terms of drawing away the defense. Durant will be put to the test on Saturday night with the Rockets’ defense focusing solely on containing the superstar in Game 3.

As of right now, the best bet in terms of Las Vegas odds to go with in Game 3 of this series is a player prop bet. Currently, the Over/Under for Durant’s scoring numbers in this series is 32 1/2.

With Westbrook out and the scoring load be handed to Durant, the team’s leader will likely have a huge scoring night at the expense of James Harden and company. The Thunder may not be able to come out on top this Saturday, but Durant will definitely have a big night offensively.

Prediction: Kevin Durant Point Total Over 32 1/2

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