Blake Griffin ends 197-game streak

WASHINGTON -- Blake Griffin's streak of 197 consecutive games came to an end Monday night when the Los Angeles Clippers forward was a late scratch against the Washington Wizards because of a strained left hamstring.

Griffin's name was originally listed among the starters, but he sat out the Clippers' 98-90 loss.

"We were walking out (to the court), and he was walking in," coach Vinny Del Negro said.

Del Negro said he knew the hamstring had been bothering Griffin, who leads the Clippers in scoring and rebounding with 18.5 points and 8.6 boards per game. The coach said sitting Griffin was being smart while thinking of the "big picture."

Del Negro declined to speculate when Griffin would return. The Clippers continue their road trip against the Orlando Magic on Wednesday.

"We'll see how he feels tomorrow," Del Negro said.

Sources told ESPNLosAngeles.com's Ramona Shelburne that Griffin's benching was "precautionary" and that the star forward is "just dinged up some."

Griffin had started every game since he essentially became an NBA player at the start of the 2010 season, having sat out in 2009-10 with a knee injury after he was drafted No. 1 overall by the Clippers.

His consecutive-games streak was tied for second with Houston Rockets center Omer Asik among active players. Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook played in his 360th straight game Monday night.

Griffin was not available for comment after the game.

The Clippers also were without point guard Chris Paul, who missed his eighth consecutive game with a bruised right kneecap.

Lamar Odom started in Griffin's place, and had three points and nine rebounds in 31 minutes of action.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.