<
>

Pelicans' Brandon Ingram exits with right ankle sprain

CHICAGO -- New Orleans Pelicans All-Star forward Brandon Ingram left Thursday night's 125-119 win against the Chicago Bulls with a sprained right ankle.

Ingram injured the ankle when he stepped on Bulls forward Chandler Hutchison's foot on a drive to the basket late in the second quarter, but he stayed in the game. Ingram returned to the floor in the second half but exited with 6:33 left in the third quarter after motioning to the bench that he needed to come out.

Shortly after, the Pelicans announced he would not return.

Ingram, a first-time All-Star who joined Team Giannis on Thursday night, had 15 points, 5 assists and 3 rebounds when he checked out. Entering the game, he was averaging a team-best and career-high 25.1 points, 6.5 rebounds and 4.2 assists while shooting 47.3% from the field and 40.0% from deep.

The injury came at a time when the Pelicans were just starting to get healthy.

With Zion Williamson missing the first 44 games of the season, New Orleans didn't put out its anticipated opening night lineup -- Ingram, Williamson, Lonzo Ball, Jrue Holiday and Derrick Favors -- until Jan. 22. Entering Thursday, that starting lineup had played 86 minutes together and posted a 113.1 offensive rating and a 96.8 defensive rating so far.

Since Jan. 22, of lineups that have played at least 70 minutes together, that starting five was tops in the NBA with a 16.9 net rating.