After losing their first two games in Las Vegas, the Los Angeles Lakers have been on a run in the NBA Summer League. The team has won five straight games and now find themselves in the Championship Game against the Portland Trail Blazers tonight.
One of the main reasons for this run has been the play of rookie point guard Lonzo Ball, who is almost averaging a triple-double in Summer League play. Unfortunately for the Lakers, if they want to win the championship, they will have to do it without him.
According to Lakers Nation reporter Serena Winters, the Lakers have announced that Ball is out for the Championship game with a mild calf strain in his right leg:
INJURY UPDATE: Lonzo Ball will NOT play tonight due to a mild calf strain in his right leg.
— Serena Winters (@SerenaWinters) July 17, 2017
Ball has been dealing with the calf injury for most of the summer. He missed an earlier game against the Sacramento Kings because of it and most recently, he was taken out of yesterday’s semi-final win over the Dallas Mavericks in the third quarter.
With Ball out for most of the second-half, the Lakers struggled to hold on to their 28-point lead against Dallas, though they ultimately came out on top. However, in the one game he sat out, the Lakers stepped up as a whole, coming out with a win over the Kings.
Without Ball, the ball-handling and playmaking duties will fall mostly on Vander Blue and Alex Caruso, who recently signed a two-way contract with the Lakers. Additionally, Kyle Kuzma, who is the leading Summer League scorer for the Lakers will need to have a good game for the Lakers to come out on top.
In five games, Ball averaged 16.3 points, 7.7 rebounds, 9.3 assists, and 2.5 steals. The Lakers face the Blazers for the Las Vegas Summer League Championship at 7 pm P.T.