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Lakers’ Westbrook, Avery sidelined by COVID-19

The Los Angeles Lakers will be without Russell Westbrook and Avery Bradley when they face the Timberwolves in Minnesota on Friday, after both were placed in NBA Covid-19 protocols.

Both Westbrook and Bradley played in the Lakers’ overtime victory over the Mavericks in Dallas on Wednesday, but weren’t travelling with the team to Minnesota.

Dwight Howard, Malik Monk and Talen Horton-Tucker had landed in the protocols earlier in the week and with both Trevor Ariza and Kendrick Nunn nursing injuries the Lakers were anticipating a hardship exemption that would allow them to sign veteran guard Isaiah Thomas.

Teams can apply for hardship waivers when they have four or more injured or ill players who will miss extended time.

Thomas played 17 games for the Lakers in 2018, averaging 15.6 points. The 32-year-old played three games for New Orleans last season on a 10-day contract.

Thomas was starring for the Boston Celtics when he finished fifth in MVP voting in 2016-17 season, but his career has stalled since he played through a hip injury in the 2017 playoffs and struggled with the injury ever since.

Thomas, who says he is pain free after a resurfacing procedure on his hip, scored 42 points on Wednesday in his debut for the Grand Rapids Gold in the NBA G League developmental league.

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