Hornets star LaMelo Ball injures ankle after teammate P.J. Washington lands on him vs. Rockets


Charlotte Hornets star LaMelo Ball was helped off the court and into the locker room after his left ankle was stepped on by a teammate during their 122-117 win over the Houston Rockets on Wednesday night.

Ball went up to try and contest a shot early in the third quarter at the Toyota Center on Wednesday as Rockets forward Jabari Smith got past him. After Ball landed on his feet in the lane, Hornets forward P.J. Washington — who also tried to contest Smith’s shot — came down himself and stepped awkwardly on Ball’s ankle.

That sent both Ball and Washington falling to the court. Washington popped back up, but Ball remained there for a second clearly in pain before limping off to the bench.

Ball was then helped to the locker room without putting much weight on his ankle. The Hornets ruled him out soon after with what they called a left ankle sprain, ending his night. He finished with 13 points and four assists.

Ball entered Wednesday night averaging a career-high 24 points, 8.4 assists and 5.4 rebounds per game this season, his third with the team. Specifics on his injury are not yet known.

The Hornets surged ahead in the fourth quarter and held on to take the five-point win on Wednesday night behind a 26-point showing from Terry Rozier. The win snapped a five-game losing skid for Charlotte, and moved the Hornets to 12-34 on the season.

Jalen Green dropped 41 points and had seven assists for the Rockets, who have now lost 12 straight. Alperen Sengun added 24 points and 12 rebounds, too.

LaMelo Ball left the Hornets’ matchup with the Rockets in the third quarter on Wednesday night. (AP/David J. Phillip)


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