LaMelo Ball fractures ankle in Hornets’ win over Pistons

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LaMelo Ball made six 3-pointers before breaking his right ankle in the third quarter, and the Charlotte Hornets held on to beat the Detroit Pistons 117-106 on Monday night for their fifth straight win.

Ball finished with 18 points on 6-of-7 shooting from 3-point range, his fifth straight game with at least five 3s. He was injured on a non-contact play in the third, and the Hornets announced after the game that X-rays revealed a fractured right ankle.

Gordon Hayward said the Charlotte players didn’t learn the severity of the injury until after the game, and most of them thought Ball had just tweaked something.

“It’s definitely disappointing because he’s a big part of our team and we feel like we’re turning a corner,” Hayward said.

Ball’s other ankle has been troublesome this season: He sprained his left ankle three times, limiting him to 36 games.

This time, he hurt his right ankle while dribbling and trying to make a move near half court. The ball fell, but he managed to keep the ball from going out of bounds. He left the game and did not return.

Hornets coach Steve Clifford did not say how long Ball would be out. Charlotte has 19 games left and is not in playoff contention, so it would be hard to imagine the team rushing him back.

“It’s just a basketball ankle and there’s nothing you can do about it,” Clifford said.

Report from The Associated Press.

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