When Brandon Ingram went down with a sprained left ankle in the first quarter, it left the Lakers without one of their primary threats.
Ingram’s X-ray was negative, giving the Lakers a bit of good news.
Lakers coach Luke Walton said after the Lakers rolled past the San Antonio Spurs 121-113 Wednesday night that Ingram would get another examination Thursday.
Ingram was on crutches after the game, but he was able to walk some without them. His ankle was wrapped in black tape.
“He’ll be evaluated tomorrow,” Walton said. “There is no timetable or anything like that yet. But they said he got it pretty good.”
He was injured after scoring over San Antonio Spurs center LaMarcus Aldridge with 6 minutes, 34 seconds left in the first.
Ingram came down on Aldridge’s foot, his left ankle rolling over and dropping the 6-foot-9 Lakers guard to the court in pain.
After a review by the referees, Aldridge was called for a flagrant foul. That meant Ingram shot a free throw, which he made for a 14-10 Lakers lead, and the Lakers got the ball back out of bounds.
LeBron James said it was “huge” for the Lakers to lose Ingram.
“Obviously, we’ve had a pretty dang-gone good rotation of guys knowing who’s going to play and where they’re going to play, and the lineups out there,” James said. “For our starting two guard to go down in the first couple minutes of the game, it just derailed our offense, taking one of our best ballhandlers and midrange scorers out of the game. Unfortunately, he’s probably going to be out for a little while [so] we have to have guys step up. That’s the nature of the game.”
The Lakers lost more than just their third-leading scorer in Ingram, who was averaging 15.7 points.
With the Lakers already down leader and backup point guard Rajon Rando, who is recovering from a broken right hand, Ingram had served as the backup point guard behind starter Lonzo Ball.
That forced Walton into scramble mode, even using rookie Svi Mykhailiuk at point guard for stretches during the game at Staples Center.
It didn’t help that Josh Hart, one of the Lakers’ key role players, was in foul trouble early.
Hart had three fouls in the first half in 2:28 of play. He started the third quarter in place of Ingram, but Hart picked up his fourth foul early in the third and was forced to the bench. That left Mykhailiuk, who had four points on one-for-seven shooting, into playing 7:42 in the third.
Ingram also was missed for his defense on DeMar DeRozan. And with Hart in foul trouble, DeRozan was able to break free for 32 points.
“It hurt us mainly in the first half,” Walton said about not having Ingram. “Between the Josh Hart foul trouble and BI going out, we kind of scrambled a little bit. We hit some midgame adversity. It affected us. It knocked us off our normal rhythm. But I thought we did a really good job of bouncing back from that and guys starting to play again.”
Going forward without Ingram and Rondo, two of the team’s other primary ballhandlers, Walton said he’ll try to keep either Ball or James on the court to run the team.
“We’re going to have to start splitting LeBron and Zo a little more,” he said.