Ball might sit out with sprained an­kle

Los Angeles Times - - NBA - BY BROD­ER­ICK TURNER brod­er­ick.turner@la­ Twit­ter: @BA_Turner

The Lak­ers an­nounced that start­ing point guard Lonzo Ball has a “mild” left an­kle sprain and is ques­tion­able for Sat­ur­day night’s game at Sacra­mento.

Lak­ers coach Luke Wal­ton the in­jury oc­curred near the end of Fri­day’s prac­tice and that “hope­fully it’s noth­ing se­ri­ous.”

The Lak­ers have a mul­ti­tude of ball­han­dlers in case Ball can’t play or if he’s lim­ited.

Ra­jon Rondo could be in­serted into the start­ing lineup at point guard. LeBron James, Bran­don In­gram and Lance Stephen­son also could serve as the backup point guards.

“This year we have op­tions to go to if he [Ball] is out or later in the sea­son if other peo­ple get hurt, we have guys we feel very con­fi­dently can play that point guard po­si­tion for us,” Wal­ton said. “From Bran­don to LeBron to Lance, even [rookie] Svi [Mykhail­iuk]. Svi played point guard for his na­tional team. So we have a lot of guys we feel con­fi­dent with.”

Wal­ton said Tyson Chan­dler took an el­bow to the chest dur­ing prac­tice, but he didn’t think the backup cen­ter would sit out against the Kings.

Chan­dler’s inf lu­ence

Chan­dler’s will­ing­ness to com­mu­ni­cate and his screens to free his new team­mates for open space were no­tice­able in his first game with the Lak­ers on Wed­nes­day night against Min­nesota.

It was ex­actly what the Lak­ers ex­pected when they signed Chan­dler on Tues­day af­ter he re­ceived a buy­out and was waived by Phoenix.

“And the first meet­ing, I told him, I said, ‘From what I’ve heard about you, I just want you to be your­self and be it from Day 1, the mo­ment you get in here,’ ” Wal­ton said. “We need the talk­ing, we need ev­ery­thing. Don’t feel like you need to get com­fort­able first. We have a great group of guys here and just go out there and be your­self. And watch­ing him be him­self is very im­pres­sive.”

Said Rondo about Chan­dler: “At half­time, he had a lot of things to say and I was able to kind of take a deep breath, kind of re­lax and fo­cus on other things, I’m sure LeBron as well. I ac­tu­ally told him this morn­ing, ‘I re­ally ap­pre­ci­ate you be­ing here.’ ”

Wal­ton said they put to­gether a film ses­sion of Chan­dler set­ting screens and called it “The Screen­ing As­sist.”

“And a ma­jor­ity of those as­sists that we got be­cause of the screens were from him,” Wal­ton said.

A somber Wal­ton

Wal­ton opened his post­prac­tice com­ments Fri­day on a somber note, say­ing how sad it was to hear about 12 peo­ple be­ing killed Wed­nes­day night at the Border­line Bar and Grill in Thou­sand Oaks and to hear about the rav­aging fires that have forced evac­u­a­tions in South­ern and North­ern Cal­i­for­nia. “I hate to have to do this again in one of th­ese ses­sions, but our thoughts and our prayers, our love is with those peo­ple suf­fer­ing from that sense­less shoot­ing a cou­ple days ago,” he said. “It’s got to stop, but it’s im­por­tant that we al­ways talk about it in­stead of just push­ing it to the side. We love bas­ket­ball. We’re all here to play bas­ket­ball, but there’s big­ger things go­ing on and ob­vi­ously with the wild­fire too, I hope that peo­ple’s homes are OK, and that they’re go­ing to be safe with all the evac­u­a­tions hap­pen­ing.”


AT SACRA­MENTO When: 7. On the air. TV: Spec­trum Sport­sNet; Ra­dio: 710, 1330. Up­date: The sur­pris­ing Kings have five play­ers av­er­ag­ing dou­ble fig­ures, led by their back­court of shoot­ing guard Buddy Hield (20.1 points) and point guard De’Aaron Fox (17.3 points, 7.3 as­sists). The Kings are tied for fourth in the NBA in scor­ing at 117.5 points a game.

Luis Sinco Los An­ge­les Times

LONZO BALL, driv­ing against Den­ver’s Nikola Jo­kic in Oc­to­ber, was hurt near the end of prac­tice.

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