Lakers News: Lonnie Walker IV Suffered ‘Mild’ Left Ankle Sprain In Timberwolves Loss
Richard Mackson-USA TODAY Sports

Lonnie Walker IV injured his ankle on a tough night for the Los Angeles Lakers, who lost the penultimate preseason game to the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday.

Walker was having another good game, scoring 12 points on 45.5% from the field in addition to three rebounds and an assist. The 23-year-old showed off his athleticism, driving into the paint for floaters and layups — and knocked down one triple on three attempts.

But his performance was cut short mid-third quarter when Kyle Anderson cut to the basket and bumped into Patrick Beverley, who then fell on Walker’s ankle. The former San Antonio Spurs guard hobbled off the court before laying on the ground and clutching his left knee.

However, head coach Darvin Ham said Walker is dealing with an ankle sprain, which appears to be mild. “He’ll be re-evaluated tomorrow and then we’ll go from there,” Ham said after the 118-113 loss.

“He said he was OK, he was standing up and just waiting in the hallway, he and Juan [Toscano-Anderson], to greet their teammates, telling them ‘way to compete’ and ‘finish strong.’ While he was in the hallway I asked him if he was OK and he said yeah, he was fine.

“They’re saying it’s just mild but we’ll see. Again, it can be totally different when he wakes up in the morning.”

Ham praised Walker for his Wednesday performance, highlighting the 6-foot-4 guard’s impact on both ends of the floor.

“He’s a guy that can catch and shoot, he’s a guy that can move around and get downhill, he’s a guy that’s gonna try to defend with the best of them,” the Lakers head coach said.

“He took the challenge on Anthony Edwards, he’s a guy that’s not gonna give up. There’s no quit in that kid and you saw it. He just makes plays athletically through the paint, offensive rebounds, putting pressure on the glass, making 3s on the perimeter.

“I think he’s a greatly welcomed addition in terms of how dynamic he is as a player. Hopefully, his ankle is OK, but he’s gonna take our competitiveness and our energy, he’s gonna take that up a level. Playing fast and being able to switch in pick-and-rolls and DHOs and move each other around, he’s gonna thrive in that system.”

The is the same ankle that Walker injured before reporting to training camp, so hopefully what he told Ham is true and he avoided a serious injury that will force him to miss time in the regular season.

LeBron James unbothered by lack of efficiency against Timberwolves

Despite Ham trying to play with his starting rotation against Minnesota, the Lakers’ offense struggled mightily again. L.A. made just 44.6% of their field goal attempts and went 10-for-39 (25.6%) from downtown despite playing with four guards on the court for large swaths of the game.

But LeBron James doesn’t think the early efficiency issues are a concern.” I love the shots that we got,” James said after the game.

“The quality of shots that we got was amazing. We missed a lot of wide-open shots, and that’s okay. You know, it’s about how we were going to have it’s how we’re sharing the ball offensively, if we get the ball moving side to side, everybody felt in a good rhythm.

“So I don’t feel like we forced threes. They were all in off, drive, and kick-off, penetration in the pocket. Finding guys weak side, and it just didn’t go, which is fine.”

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