Report: Vogel had approval from Lakers to bench Westbrook

Harry How / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Los Angeles Lakers head coach Frank Vogel had the green light to bench star Russell Westbrook - as he did Wednesday night - if he saw fit, sources told ESPN's Dave McMenamin.

The point guard sat the last three minutes and 42 seconds of the Lakers' disappointing 111-104 home loss to the Indiana Pacers. He was 5-for-17 at the time of his benching.

Westbrook went into the locker room with 8.4 seconds remaining on the clock, and sources say he left the arena before many of his teammates were done showering.

Vogel reportedly had full approval from team management to tinker with Westbrook's minutes however he wanted, but never resorted to benching him until Wednesday.

When asked about the decision, Vogel told reporters he was "playing the guys that I thought were going to win the game."

Vogel's job has been on thin ice lately, with reports coming out that his position is being evaluated on a game-by-game basis.

The Lakers dropped to 22-23 with the loss, their fourth in five games. The team is now in a tie for the eighth seed in the Western Conference with the Minnesota Timberwolves.

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Report: Vogel had approval from Lakers to bench Westbrook
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