Lonzo Ball has led the Lakers to the Summer League championship game, but he won't suit up against the Blazers on Monday night.
LAS VEGAS – Lonzo Ball has led the Lakers to the Summer League championship game, but the highly-touted rookie point guard won't take the court against the Blazers on Monday night because of a calf injury.
The No. 2 overall pick dazzled again in LA’s 108-98 semifinal win over Dallas at the Thomas & Mack Center on Sunday, posting 16 points and 10 assists, including one long-distance dime that prompted Lakers president Magic Johnson to stand up from his courtside seat and applaud. But Ball exited the game in the third quarter with right calf tightness and, after receiving treatment, remained on the bench for the entire fourth quarter.
The Lakers announced Monday that Ball had sustained a mild right calf strain and that he'd sit out the championship game.
“This is the first time my calf has gotten tight,” Ball said after Sunday's game. “[Sitting out] was just being cautious. I wanted to get back out there but the training staff took care of me.”
The UCLA product previously missed a game against the Kings on Monday due to a minor groin injury, but he returned to play four games in five nights as the Lakers made a push through the playoff portion of the tournament. Ball has logged heavy minutes this week, 36 minutes against the Sixers on Wednesday, 34 minutes against the Cavaliers on Thursday and 34 minutes against the Nets on Saturday. Summer League contests are only 40 minutes rather than the NBA-standard 48 minutes. Following Saturday’s game against Brooklyn, Ball acknowledged that he was “tired.”
When healthy, Ball has been a top contender for Summer League MVP honors, registering two triple-doubles and leading the competition in assists.
The Lakers beat the Grizzlies 87-82 in their semifinal game on Sunday.
Ball and the Lakers have been the top attraction at Summer League, helping generate a sellout of 17,500 fans for their game against the Celtics. The Southern California native has also received significant buzz by switching up his sneakers throughout the tournament. On Sunday, Ball wore Jordan 31s after previously wearing, in order, his Big Baller Brand ZO2 signature shoes, Kobe Bryant’s signature Nike shoes, James Harden’s signature Adidas shoes, and Stephen Curry’s signature Under Armour shoes.
Monday's title game is at 10 p.m. ET.