Westbrook, dressed in a bright orange jacket and tan slacks, took a seat on the end of the Lakers' bench just after tipoff. It was the first game Westbrook missed all season.
Westbrook felt the same tightness in his back in Tuesday night's 131-116 loss to the Milwaukee Bucks but played through it and ultimately felt too much discomfort to play in the second game of a back-to-back Wednesday night, sources told ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
Westbrook started and had 10 points, 10 rebounds and five assists against Milwaukee, but for the second game in a row and third time this season he was pulled down the stretch. After being subbed out with 2 minutes, 34 seconds remaining in the third quarter, Westbrook did not get back in the game.
With Westbrook out against Portland, L.A. started LeBron James, Anthony Davis, Malik Monk, Avery Bradley and Trevor Ariza, accounting for the 28th starting lineup the team has used this season through 56 games.
Westbrook is averaging 18.3 points, 7.8 rebounds and 7.6 assists this season for the Lakers, who fell to 26-30.