Seemingly buoyed by an overtime win against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Lonzo Ball and the Los Angeles Lakers came out with plenty of confidence on Saturday night. Kyle Kuzma scored 20 points in the first quarter and the lead stretched to as many as 21 in the first half.
Like he’s done during some of the games the Lakers have been without LeBron James and Rajon Rondo, Ball aggressively pushed the pace for transition baskets and easy looks for teammates. But in yet another unfortunate turn of events, the injury bug bit the Lakers again.
Ball collided with James Ennis III in the third quarter and in doing so rolled his left ankle. He immediately went down to the court and was writhing in pain as the play went the other way.
Unable to put any weight on his leg, Ball was eventually carried off the court by Michael Beasley and Lance Stephenson. According to Bill Oram of The Athletic, Ball has been diagnosed with a sprained ankle and is being taken for X-rays:
Lonzo Ball is being taken to a local hospital for X-rays. Apparently the machine at Toyota Center is not working. Lakers are only calling it a sprained left ankle.
— Bill Oram (@billoram) January 20, 2019
The Lakers were ahead 69-54 at the time Ball sustained his injury. Josh Hart replaced him, moving Brandon Ingram to the role of point guard. The Rockets immediately went on a run, cutting their deficit to five points.
Their run coincided with Lakers head coach Luke Walton getting ejected, seemingly out of frustration on the non-call in which Ball was injured, and another play where James Harden appeared to make contact with Kuzma.
Ball has turned his left ankle on multiple occasions this season but has yet to miss any time.
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