The already depleted Los Angeles Lakers could be without Lonzo Ball for a while after the point guard limped off injured during their overtime loss to the Houston Rockets on Saturday, per ESPN.
On a night when James Harden dropped 48 points to extend his historic run of consecutive 30-plus point games to 19, the Lakers had a huge development of their own as the sophomore was made to exit the game after suffering what appeared to be a nasty ankle injury.
Ball collided with Rockets small forward James Ennis in the third quarter and immediately grabbed his ankle. He remained grounded for a few minutes before being carried to the locker room by his teammates.
The player had to be taken to hospital to be examined as the Rockets' X-ray machine happened to be broken. And, fortunately, subsequent scans came back negative.
Given how bad the injury looked, though, the point guard could be out for a while. But the Lakers are expected to give an official update on the player's condition after he undergoes an MRI.
"He knew it was something big," Lance Stephenson, one of the players who helped take Ball to the locker room, said. "Just had to carry him back, and I know he'll be back soon."
Lakers head coach Luke Walton was thrown out of the game shortly after Ball was taken away, having picked up two technical fouls.
"I wasn't happy about a lot of things, but Lonzo getting hurt really took it to another level for me," he said after the loss.
"The first technical I deserved. Second one, all I said was, 'You guys are funny. This is really funny.' That's all I said. I wasn't yelling anymore, I wasn't screaming anymore. I was shocked that I got thrown out for that. I've heard a lot worse, I've said a lot worse. But it is what it is."
What This Means
The Lakers are already without LeBron James and Rajon Rondo and could have certainly done without an additional injury concern.
Fortunately, James should return to training this week while Rondo has been cleared for contact. But losing another one of their key men will make it harder to force their way back into playoff contention.