Lonzo Ball hampered by tight calves against Houston Rockets



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That Lonzo Ball would play Sunday against the Houston Rockets was not sure until just before the game.

Ball had experienced stiffness in both muscles of his calf on Saturday night. His left calf tightened before the game and his right calf tensed during the game. Ball went through the practice of the Lakers on Sunday, held late in the afternoon, as usual for Sunday games, and decided to try to play.

"Today I was in the training room trying to relax them, but they were still tight but I felt I could play," said Ball. "I tried to get out today, but obviously they were still tight, I tried to do what I could out there, it's like I had two knots in my calves at the moment, it's like I have two rocks every time I run and jump. little bit ".

Ball finished the game with two points in 0 of 4 shots. He had three badists and one rebound. Lakers coach Luke Walton said Ball did not bounce or push as he usually does.

Ball played 22 minutes on Sunday, well below his average, and missed the entire fourth quarter. Walton said that if the game had been closer he could have returned Ball, but given the score and his injury situation, he did not.

Motivational Spill

As the clock expired on Saturday night in Denver, the Nuggets guard, Jamal Murray, took an exaggerated dribble and bounced the ball around the perimeter. Ball, who was looking in the other direction. Julius Randle and Brandon Ingram ran off on Murray's offense, annoyed by his antics.

In the postgame locker room, Walton went immediately.

"He was immature," Walton said. "If I were on Lonzo's team, I would have messed up pretty hard after that … It just reinforces the message we're trying to convey to our team, that is, we have to trust each other because we're all we have. Other teams love [it] fans laugh, players laugh, teams like to hit the Lakers, we have each other. "

Ball did not notice or care too much, but It is a moment in which you will see again.

The teams do not face each other until March. Walton said he plans to show that clip to the players before that game to motivate them.

Etc.

Rockets coach Mike D & # 39; Antoni did not want to compare the skill set or the skill of Ball with any other point guards. & # 39; "I do not think anyone cares about comparing people who have been in the league for four to five years to get to where they have arrived and then trying to compare," said D & # 39; Antoni. "I can not see him in the future, but obviously he's a talented kid." The Lakers will have a free Monday after finishing a road back home. … Corey Brewer played in his 300th straight game on Sunday, the longest streak in the NBA.

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Follow Tania Ganguli on Twitter @taniaganguli

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