Sources: Ball to keep starting after Rondo return

SAN ANTONIO — The Los Angeles Lakers will keep Lonzo Ball in the starting lineup Saturday against the San Antonio Spurs when Rajon Rondo returns to the team after serving a three-game suspension, sources told ESPN.

The Lakers went 2-1 in Rondo’s absence with Ball providing steady play on both ends of the court, averaging 12.7 points on 53.6 percent shooting (40 percent from 3), 7.3 assists, 7.0 rebounds and 2.7 steals per game.

Rondo, signed in the offseason to a one-year, $9 million contract after LeBron James’ public fawning over the basketball IQ of the four-time All-Star, averaged 13 points on 57.1 percent shooting (50 percent from 3), 10.5 assists, 5.5 rebounds and 1.5 steals in the Lakers’ first two games.

The Lakers lost both games — close contests against Portland and Houston.

Rondo’s suspension was the result of a fight with Houston Rockets point guard Chris Paul in which Rondo threw several punches and allegedly spit in Paul’s face, according to the league.

Ball opened the season on a minutes restriction after undergoing offseason surgery on his left knee, but that limitation has since been lifted by the Lakers’ training staff.

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