Lakers’ Lonzo Ball, Brook Lopez cleared to practice, questionable for OKC game

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersAfter dropping back-to-back games in Houston and Minnesota over the New Year’s holiday, the Lakers are 11-25, half a game behind Memphis (12-25) as of Tuesday for the ignominious status of being worst in the West.News of Ball’s progress coincided with a positive update on starting center Brook Lopez (right ankle sprain) and a less favorable one on rookie forward Kyle Kuzma (left quad contusion). All three players are listed as questionable to play against the Thunder, although the fact that Ball and Lopez have not yet practiced likely pushes them back at least until Friday, when the Lakers host Charlotte.Lopez has been out since Dec. 18, when he left an eventual double-overtime loss to the Warriors with the sprained ankle.Kuzma played just 18 minutes Monday in Minnesota due to the thigh bruise, the same injury he played through last week in losses to the Grizzlies and Clippers. Trapped in another losing season, the suddenly last-place Lakers can find some solace in the knowledge that their star point guard could be back on the court this week.Lonzo Ball was cleared Tuesday to return to practice after missing the last five games with a left shoulder sprain.Coach Luke Walton has long said that Ball is the key to the Lakers’ identity, and indeed, they have been unable to win without him since he suffered the injury on Dec. 23. They are on a season-worst seven-game skid and the five losses without Ball have been by an average of 13.2 points.Ball is averaging 10 points, 6.9 rebounds and 7.1 assists per game and is the instigator of the Lakers’ offense and the motor to their pace of play, a category in which they lead the league. Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img

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