Latest: Clippers’ Russell Westbrook fractures hand on his bobblehead night

As the Clippers began to pour it on against the Washington Wizards in the third quarter Friday, bad news surfaced when the team announced guard Russell Westbrook had a left hand fracture.

Westbrook sustained the injury in the first half of the Clippers’ 140-115 win when he tried to steal the ball from Washington’s Jordan Poole. A 16-year veteran, Westbrook was averaging 11.1 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.5 assists. The injury came on his bobblehead night at Arena.

The Clippers didn’t give a timetable for Westbrook’s return, but a fractured hand typically keeps players out four to six weeks. He had played in all 58 games this season.

“Yeah, just feel bad for Russ right now,” coach Tyronn Lue said. “You never want to see a player get hurt. Poole drove around and he tried to deflect it from the back. I think he hit his elbow with his hand, so we don’t know what timetable. Don’t know if he needs surgery or anything yet, but he’s out right now.”

The Clippers (38-20) had lost three of four games since the All-Star break and were in need of good vibes, especially after collapsing against the Lakers on Wednesday when they blew a 21-point lead in the fourth quarter.

But against the Wizards, the team with the worst record in the NBA and playing on the second of back-to-back nights, the Clippers coasted to victory after pulling away in the third quarter. The Clippers opened a 28-point lead, shooting 50% from the field. They held the Wizards to 36% from the field and 22.2% from three-point range.

It helped the Clippers to have Paul George back after he missed two games because of a left knee injury. George had 22 points, six rebounds and three assists in 30 minutes.

“Yeah, it’s been something I’ve been dealing with all season, been able to play through it enough,” George said about his knee injury. “But, yeah, it just hit like a wall. I kind of need to take a little breather and muster up for the next part of the season.”

It was the play of James Harden and Kawhi Leonard that set up the blowout.

Harden was efficient, scoring 28 points on nine-for-13 shooting, going six for nine from three-point range. He also had eight assists and four rebounds in just 25 minutes.

Clippers forward Paul George, left, speaks with coach Tyronn Lue during the first half Friday.

(Ryan Sun / Associated Press)

Leonard had 27 points, nine rebounds and four assists in 29 minutes.

The Clippers play their next three games on the road, two of them against stiff competition.

They face the Western Conference-leading Minnesota Timberwolves on Sunday before playing a Milwaukee Bucks team with the third-best record in the league Monday. The Clippers finish their trip Wednesday night at Houston.

“Minnesota has had our number and it’s been a team that’s given us a lot of trouble,” George said. “Milwaukee, obviously, [will] be a tough matchup with our first time seeing him on their floor.”

With Westbrook out, Bones Hyland got some playing time and had seven assists in 16 minutes.

“He’s ready for the moment,” George said. “He’ll get his rhythm, he’ll get his time in. I mean, he hasn’t played real meaningful minutes for us in a long time, but he’ll find his way. We’re going to support him through it and yeah, I mean, we need him. Losing Russ is a big boy and we need Bones to fill that gap for us.”

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