Westbrook out vs. Nuggets; status for Fri. in air

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Russell Westbrook will not be available for the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night against the Nuggets in Denver because of left hamstring soreness, head coach Darvin Ham said.

Ham declined to say whether Westbrook would miss more games, saying only that the team would take it day by day.

“We all came to a conclusion that it’s early in the season,” Ham said. “There’s no reason to stretch it out or put him in a vulnerable position.”

Westbrook had been listed as doubtful for Wednesday’s game a day earlier. Sources previously told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski that Westbrook remains hopeful of a return against the Minnesota Timberwolves on Friday.

Westbrook was limited to five minutes in the Lakers’ preseason finale because of the hamstring and later said that coach Darvin Ham’s decision to bring him off the bench in that game could have contributed to the injury.

Westbrook is averaging 10.7 points on 28.9% (8.3% from 3), 6.7 rebounds, 4.3 assists and 2.0 steals per game through the Lakers’ 0-3 start to the season.

He was roundly criticized for taking a midrange jump shot late in Sunday’s loss to the Portland Trail Blazers with 18 seconds left on the shot clock when the Lakers led by one, rather than attacking the rim or working the ball around to an open teammate.

ESPN’s Dave McMenamin contributed to this report.

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