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LaMelo Ball goes to locker room Sunday vs. Heat, starts second half

Ball left the floor well before halftime.

Miami Heat v Charlotte Hornets
LaMelo Ball of the Charlotte Hornets handles the ball during the game against the Miami Heat on January 29, 2023 at Spectrum Center in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Photo by Kent Smith/NBAE via Getty Images

Update: Ball has started the second half for the Hornets, so this likely isn’t an injury situation and might have been more of an extended break to alleviate some frustrations.

The Charlotte Hornets saw prized point guard LaMelo Ball go to the locker room before halftime against the Miami Heat Sunday. There was no official reason for Ball’s departure, and there likely won’t be any word on his status until after the break.

It’s been a rough game for Ball, who has four points in 17 minutes on 1-5 shooting. He’s also got two personal fouls and three turnovers, which is a result of his high-risk, high-reward playing style. Ball has navigated several injuries this season and has not been able to give the Hornets the boost they desperately needed at times. Charlotte appears destined for a top-5 pick in the draft.

If Ball cannot return to this game, Terry Rozier and Dennis Smith Jr. will take on bigger roles in this offense. The Hornets will want to protect Ball, so if there’s even a slight chance of aggravation he’s likely going to sit out the rest of this game.