LAS VEGAS (AP) Lonzo Ball’s bid for a third straight triple-double was short-circuited by a calf injury. The lead he helped the Los Angeles Lakers build while he was in the game proved to be just enough to top Dennis Smith Jr. and the Dallas Mavericks.
Ball had 16 points and 10 assists in 21 minutes before leaving with a strained right calf, and the Lakers held on for a 108-98 victory in the Las Vegas Summer League semifinals on Sunday night.
Kyle Kuzma scored 24 points, Matt Thomas had 20 and Vander Blue added 17 to help the Lakers reach the championship game. They will face the Portland Trail Blazers, who beat Memphis 87-82 in the other semifinal, on Monday night.
Smith scored 21 points on 7-for-13 shooting for the Mavericks, who trailed by as many as 26 points in the second half before mounting a huge comeback in the fourth quarter. Yogi Ferrell added 15 points and Dorian Finney-Smith and Brandon Ashley each had 13.
Wearing Jordans on his feet instead of the family’s Big Baller Brand ZO2s, Ball made 5 of 7 shots and had a beautiful punch-ahead pass to Alex Caruso for a dunk that had thousands of Lakers fans out of their seats in the first half. He also had four rebounds, putting him well on his way to this third triple-double of summer league play before his right calf tightened up.
Ball tried to jog it off in a back hallway in the third quarter, but he was hobbling a little bit and was shut down for the remainder of the game. Lakers summer league coach Jud Buechler said it was too soon to tell if Ball would be available for the championship game.
“His health comes first,” Buechler told…
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