LaMelo Ball fractures ankle in Hornets’ win over Pistons

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 victory.

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

Gordon Hayward said Charlotte’s players didn’t find out about the severity of the injury until after the game, with most of them figuring Ball had just tweaked something.

“It’s certainly disappointing because he’s a major part of our team and we felt like we were rounding the corner,” Hayward said.

Ball’s other ankle has been bothersome this season — he’s sprained his left ankle three times, limiting him to 36 games.

This time, he hurt his right ankle as he was dribbling and attempting to make a move near half court. Ball fell down, but managed to prevent the ball from going out of bounds. He left the game and did not return.

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

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

Reporting by The Associated Press.

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