Lakers’ Brandon Ingram upgraded to ‘questionable’ for Wednesday after playing 3-on-3

first_imgAmong the Lakers’ young stars, Kyle Kuzma might be the most explosive scorer and Lonzo Ball the one most capable of capturing the imagination of fans.However, in his 57 games on the court it is Brandon Ingram who has most consistently risen to the occasion, hitting big shots, picking apart defenses and stringing together balanced performances.The second-year forward is the Lakers’ leading scorer and a team captain. When Ball went down with a left knee injury in January, the Lakers won seven out of 10 games with the 6-foot-9 Ingram at point guard.Ingram’s value has been just apparent in his time off the court as in the games he led the Lakers. The team is 5-7 since Justise Winslow landed on Ingram following a whistle on March 1 in Miami, leading to a strained groin. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREUCLA alum Kenny Clark signs four-year contract extension with PackersAfter four weeks on the sidelines, Ingram appears to be on the cusp of returning to the lineup.The Lakers officially upgraded Ingram to questionable for Wednesday’s game against the Dallas Mavericks at Staples Center. That decision came after Ingram went through full-court games of three-on-three at the team’s El Segundo headquarters on Tuesday.A day earlier, Coach Luke Walton said the coaches and training staff would use that session to evaluate Ingram’s progress and said “hopefully he’ll be ready” to face Dallas on Wednesday.“Having him back’s going to mean a lot for us,” Ball said after the Lakers lost 112-106 in Detroit on Monday. “Pretty much just telling him to come back when he’s ready. We don’t want him to come out there and injure anything for no reason. Make sure he’s comfortable and after that we definitely can use him.”Joining Ingram on the court was rookie guard Josh Hart, who also participated in the games of three-on-three but is still listed as out due to the broken bone in his left hand, suffered on Feb. 28. Hart previously said he hoped to return to the court on March 30 against Milwaukee. Ingram averages 16.2 points for the Lakers (32-41), which is tied for the team lead with starting power forward Julius Randle.With just nine games remaining in their season, there is the question of what the Lakers have to gain by getting their two injured players back into action. The Lakers, after all, are officially out of the playoff race. However, Walton last week said he hoped to get his players additional experience before the summer arrived.“These are all good opportunities for these guys,” Walton said, “and it would be nice to get Brandon a little bit of rhythm going into the offseason.”The Lakers can also just use the healthy bodies. They practiced just once on their nine-day, four-game trip due to so many players nursing injuries and now the team is waiting on Isaiah Thomas, who flew to New York on Monday to evaluate options for ongoing issues with his hip. Thomas is officially out for Wednesday’s game.HOME AGAINThe Lakers are done with extended trips away from home. At least until next season.Eight of their nine remaining games are in Los Angeles, with an April 2 trip to Utah the last remaining road game that will require air travel and a night in a hotel. The Lakers close the season as the road team on April 11 in a game against the Clippers.“It’s going to be great to be able to finish out a home stretch like that,” Ball said. “I know the fans are going to love it. We’re going to love playing in front of them.”The Lakers have lost only twice at home since Jan. 5, a fact the team hopes can buoy them to a few more victories before the season wraps.“When you’re a young team and you’re fatigued late into the season, it’s nice to be able to use that home crowd to help carry through some … of those things,” Walton said. “So we’re looking forward to getting back to Staples.”center_img Newsroom GuidelinesNews TipsContact UsReport an Errorlast_img

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