Ball sprains ankle but plans to play in Lakers' next game

Ball sprains ankle but plans to play in Lakers' next game

Ball sprains ankle but plans to play in Lakers' next game

Ball was hurt in the second quarter when he tripped over a Nuggets player and briefly returned in the third before he was shut down for the night, playing just 18 minutes and finishing with seven points, five rebounds and two assists.

"I mean, I wanted to play", Ball said.

Paul Millsap, Jamal Murray and Malik Beasley scored 20 points apiece, and the Nuggets rolled to their most lopsided victory ever over Los Angeles, a 117-85 rout on Tuesday night.

X-rays were negative and Ball insisted afterward he would play when the Lakers face the Indiana Pacers on Thursday as the first leg of a back-to-back. He was examined by the Lakers' training staff and taken to the locker room.

But the Nuggets played very well. Ball, who said he tweaked the same spot on his left ankle that he had injured earlier in the season, immediately banged his fist on the floor in frustration.

Nuggets: G Gary Harris missed a second consecutive game with left ankle soreness. "But he wanted to give it a go".

When Rajon Rondo went down with a broken hand, ball-handling duties for the Lakers shifted. "But the way he was moving out there, it just didn't feel right to leave him out on the court, so we got him out quickly".

"The way that we play, with the pace that we play at, it's tough to lose anyone from point guard, let alone having both of them out", James said.

The Lakers were outshot 48.5 percent to 39.5 percent and finished just 5 of 35 (14.3 percent) from 3-point range.

LeBron gave his annual spiel about playing more off the ball and going to the post and not being the primary ball-handler this offseason, but as happens every year, he finds he's most comfortable and the team is best off when he is the one initiating plays and making decisions.

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