Lakers’ Russell Westbrook comes off bench against Timberwolves

MINNEAPOLIS — Los Angeles Lakers guard Russell Westbrook came off the bench Friday night against the Minnesota Timberwolves, and sources told ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski the team will continue to feature him in a reserve role for the foreseeable future.

Westbrook missed L.A.’s loss to the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday because of left hamstring soreness, but he was upgraded to probable Friday morning. He entered with 7 minutes, 28 seconds left in the first quarter, subbing in for Troy Brown Jr.

Lakers coach Darvin Ham brought Westbrook off the bench in L.A.’s preseason finale and said the role allows the former league MVP to have the ball in his hands more often on offense, igniting the Lakers’ attack.

Coming off the bench broke Westbrook’s streak of 1,007 straight starting appearances, which was the third-longest active stretch in the league, behind Chris Paul and LeBron James, according to research by ESPN Stats & Information.

The Lakers practiced with a starting five unit of James, Anthony Davis, Patrick Beverley, Lonnie Walker IV and center Damian Jones at shootaround. The Wolves have one of the biggest front lines in the league with Karl-Anthony Towns and Rudy Gobert.

Despite going through practice, Davis was downgraded from questionable to out.

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