The Los Angeles Lakers went into Tuesday’s game dealing with injuries and incurred another as Lonzo Ball suffered a sprained left ankle in a 117-85 blowout loss to the Denver Nuggets. The Lakers have now lost back-to-back games after winning nine of 11.
Ball sustained his injury late in the second quarter when he was beginning to backpedal and lost his footing upon colliding with Malik Beasley who had slipped and remained on the floor. Ball was slow to get up and immediately asked to be removed from the game.
He was on the court to start the third quarter but only played a few minutes before checking out for good. Ball finished with 7 points, 5 rebounds and 2 assists in 18 minutes.
The Lakers were already falling behind the Nuggets and playing without either of their two point guards made matters all the more difficult on offense. Denver opened the third quarter on a 12-6 run to establish a double-digit lead that held up throughout the second half.
Although the Lakers managed to clean up their turnover issues, their struggles at the free throw line and behind the arc persisted. They shot 12-of-18 at the charity stripe and were 5-for-35 from deep.
And despite now having the luxury of rotating JaVale McGee and Tyson Chandler to combat Nikola Jokic, the versatile center still made an all-around impact and the Lakers were out-rebounded by a margin of 60-38. The Nuggets collected 16 offensive rebounds to the Lakers’ seven.
Denver’s victory avenged last month’s defeat at Staples Center, which was their first loss of the season.