Houston Rockets point guard Russell Westbrook will not play in Thursday night's game against the Los Angeles Lakers because of a right quad contusion, head coach Mike D'Antoni announced before the game.
Ben McLemore will start in Westbrook's place.
Westbrook suffered a thumb injury earlier this season but appeared in 73 or more games the previous four campaigns.
He is averaging 27.4 points, 8.0 rebounds, 7.1 assists and 1.6 steals per game in his first season with the Rockets and combined with James Harden to lead the team into playoff position before the season was suspended because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a result, the Rockets were included as part of the league's 22-team restart in Orlando, Florida.
There is no questioning Westbrook's status as one of the best players in the league when healthy. He has a league MVP, eight All-NBA selections, nine All-Star nods, two scoring titles and two assist titles on his resume and averaged a triple-double in his final three seasons with the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Houston will miss his presence even though Harden can carry the offense.
Look for the Rockets to further rely on the combination of McLemore, Eric Gordon, and Austin Rivers until Westbrook is ready to return.