Lonzo Ball leaves with ankle sprain as Lakers lose preseason game to Nuggets -

Lonzo Ball leaves with ankle sprain as Lakers lose preseason game to Nuggets

Lonzo Ball




  • Los Angeles Lakers ahead Luol Deng, proper, shoots as Denver Nuggets ahead Juan Hernangomez defends in the course of the first half of a preseason NBA basketball sport, Monday, Oct. 2, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photograph/Mark J. Terrill)

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    Denver Nuggets ahead Kenneth Faried, middle, shoots as Los Angeles Lakers ahead Luol Deng, left, of South Sudan, and ahead Kyle Kuzma defend in the course of the first half of a preseason NBA basketball sport, Monday, Oct. 2, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photograph/Mark J. Terrill)

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    Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball gestures after dunking in the course of the first half of a preseason NBA basketball sport towards the Denver Nuggets, Monday, Oct. 2, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photograph/Mark J. Terrill)

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    Denver Nuggets middle Mason Plumlee, proper, shoots as Los Angeles Lakers guard Tyler Ennis defends in the course of the first half of a preseason NBA basketball sport, Monday, Oct. 2, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photograph/Mark J. Terrill)

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    Los Angeles Lakers coach Luke Walton gestures in the course of the first half of the group’s preseason NBA basketball sport towards the Denver Nuggets, Monday, Oct. 2, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photograph/Mark J. Terrill)

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    Denver Nuggets guard Gary Harris, left, shoots as Los Angeles Lakers middle Ivica Zubac, of Croatia, defends in the course of the first half of a preseason NBA basketball sport, Monday, Oct. 2, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photograph/Mark J. Terrill)

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    Los Angeles Lakers ahead Brandon Ingram, proper, shoots as Denver Nuggets ahead Paul Millsap defends in the course of the first half of a preseason NBA basketball sport, Monday, Oct. 2, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photograph/Mark J. Terrill)

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    Denver Nuggets ahead Wilson Chandler, proper, shoots as Los Angeles Lakers ahead Brandon Ingram defends in the course of the first half of a preseason NBA basketball sport, Monday, Oct. 2, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photograph/Mark J. Terrill)

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    Former NBA participant Scottie Pippen watches in the course of the first half of a preseason NBA basketball sport between the Los Angeles Lakers and the Denver Nuggets, Monday, Oct. 2, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photograph/Mark J. Terrill)

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    Denver Nuggets guard Jamal Murray, middle, shoots as Los Angeles Lakers middle Thomas Bryant, left, and guard Lonzo Ball defend in the course of the first half of a preseason NBA basketball sport, Monday, Oct. 2, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photograph/Mark J. Terrill)

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    Lakers level guard Lonzo Ball dunks off an alley-oop move from Jordan Clarkson in the course of the first half of Monday’s preseason sport towards the Denver Nuggets at Staples Middle. (AP Photograph/Mark J. Terrill)

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    Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball stands on the court docket in the course of the first half of the group’s preseason NBA basketball sport towards the Denver Nuggets, Monday, Oct. 2, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photograph/Mark J. Terrill)

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    Members of the Denver Nuggets stand as they pay tribute to the victims of the mass taking pictures in Las Vegas, previous to a preseason NBA basketball sport towards the Los Angeles Lakers, Monday, Oct. 2, 2017, in Los Angeles. (AP Photograph/Mark J. Terrill)

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    Los Angeles Lakers ahead Julius Randle, left, shoots as Denver Nuggets ahead Kenneth Faried defends in the course of the second half of a preseason NBA basketball sport, Monday, Oct. 2, 2017, in Los Angeles. The Nuggets received 113-107. (AP Photograph/Mark J. Terrill)

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    Los Angeles Lakers guard Jordan Clarkson, left, shoots as Denver Nuggets ahead Kenneth Faried defends in the course of the second half of a preseason NBA basketball sport, Monday, Oct. 2, 2017, in Los Angeles. The Nuggets received 113-107. (AP Photograph/Mark J. Terrill)

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    Denver Nuggets guard Will Barton, left, shoots as Los Angeles Lakers ahead Larry Nance Jr., proper, defends and guard Emmanuel Mudiay, of Congo, watches in the course of the second half of a preseason NBA basketball sport, Monday, Oct. 2, 2017, in Los Angeles. The Nuggets received 113-107. (AP Photograph/Mark J. Terrill)

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    Los Angeles Lakers guard Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, left, and Denver Nuggets guard Malik Beasley attain for a unfastened ball in the course of the second half of a preseason NBA basketball sport, Monday, Oct. 2, 2017, in Los Angeles. The Nuggets received 113-107. (AP Photograph/Mark J. Terrill)

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    Denver Nuggets ahead Wilson Chandler, proper, tries to move as Los Angeles Lakers middle Thomas Bryant defends in the course of the second half of a preseason NBA basketball sport, Monday, Oct. 2, 2017, in Los Angeles. The Nuggets received 113-107. (AP Photograph/Mark J. Terrill)

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    Denver Nuggets guard Will Barton, left, shoots as Los Angeles Lakers ahead Kyle Kuzma defends in the course of the second half of a preseason NBA basketball sport, Monday, Oct. 2, 2017, in Los Angeles. The Nuggets received 113-107. (AP Photograph/Mark J. Terrill)

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    Denver Nuggets head coach Michael Malone gestures in the course of the second half of a preseason NBA basketball sport towards the Los Angeles Lakers, Monday, Oct. 2, 2017, in Los Angeles. The Nuggets received 113-107. (AP Photograph/Mark J. Terrill)

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    Los Angeles Lakers guard Lonzo Ball, proper, shoots as Denver Nuggets guard Will Barton defends in the course of the second half of a preseason NBA basketball sport, Monday, Oct. 2, 2017, in Los Angeles. The Nuggets received 113-107. (AP Photograph/Mark J. Terrill)

LOS ANGELES — His star level guard was hobbling off the court docket and Luke Walton, who understands in addition to anybody that accidents are a part of basketball, couldn’t suppress the nervousness he felt because the scene unfolded.

“I acquired a bit nervous once I noticed him go down,” Walton stated after the Lakers misplaced to the Denver Nuggets, 113-107, in an exhibition sport at Staples Middle. “I don’t like to try this, however it was my pure response.”

Ball hit the deck late within the first half after blocking a shot by Emmanuel Mudiay after which touchdown on the Denver level guard’s foot. The harm was finally recognized as a gentle left ankle sprain, however the second serves as a snapshot of simply how a lot the Lakers’ future hinges on the success and well being of 1 individual.

Even within the preseason, Walton is aware of that dropping Ball for any time period would, for a group whose younger gamers are nonetheless studying how all of them match, be a serious setback.

“It’s not as a result of I actually wish to win the following sport,” the Lakers coach stated. “It’s as a result of I do know if he can’t apply and if he can’t be out on the ground in apply (taking part in) the best way we wish to play, it’s actually going to decelerate the method.”

Ball returned to the sport after getting his ankle taped at halftime, however performed simply 5 extra minutes earlier than spending the remainder of the sport within the locker room receiving therapy. Making his Staples Middle debut, Ball completed with eight factors, 4 assists and two rebounds to go together with 4 turnovers.

“I’ll be all proper,” Ball stated, saying he wouldn’t know if he may apply Tuesday till he met with group trainers within the morning.

The Lakers’ heightened concern for Ball highlights how dedicated they’re to him because the cornerstone piece of their future. On Monday, Walton once more praised Ball profusely, evaluating his management abilities to Chris Paul and Jason Kidd.

“If he went to the rec middle individuals would comply with him,” Walton stated, “as a result of he makes individuals higher and that’s what nice leaders do.”

The signature second of his night time got here on an alley-oop, however surprisingly he was not the one delivering it, however the one ending it – off a move from Jordan Clarkson.

The Lakers dropped to Zero-2 within the preseason, however as soon as once more had been led in scoring by rookie Kyle Kuzma, who adopted his 19-point efficiency Saturday in Anaheim by pouring in 23 factors towards the Nuggets.

Denver guard Gary Harris led all scorers with 25 factors.

Kuzma, drafted 27th total – the decide the Lakers acquired from Brooklyn within the D’Angelo Russell commerce – shot 9 for 17 from the sector, together with four for 9 from past the Three-point line. After trailing by 20 factors within the third quarter, the Lakers pulled inside 4 at 111-107 with lower than a minute left after Kuzma scored eight straight factors.

On the Nuggets’ subsequent possession, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope compelled a turnover and gave the Lakers an opportunity to tug even nearer, however Kuzma compelled a Three-point try and the Lakers’ run stalled.

Signed for one season at $18 million, Caldwell-Pope was introduced in to be a stalwart defensive presence. Along with his two steals, he scored 15 factors and added 5 rebounds and 4 assists.

The Lakers got here out robust towards Denver – who they are going to face once more Wednesday in Ontario – constructing a 31-26 lead after the primary quarter. By halftime, nevertheless, that lead was gone and the Lakers, who harassed protection all through the primary week of the season, trailed 61-56.