LaMelo Ball posted 21 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists, becoming the youngest player in NBA history to record a triple-double as the Charlotte Hornets topped the Atlanta Hawks 113-105 for their third-straight victory.
Devonte’ Graham got off to a good start tonight. He opened the scoring for the Hornets with a three from the right wing a little under two minutes into the game and was involved in all of their first eight points, either as a scorer or passer. Bogdan Bogdanović scored five quick points out of the gate that propelled Atlanta to a 16-13 lead by the time LaMelo Ball and Miles Bridges came in halfway through the first. A few minutes later, Terry Rozier decided to destroy the rim for no apparent reason:
The handle and the hammer!— NBA (@NBA) January 10, 2021
1-point game after 1Q on NBA LP pic.twitter.com/RPqP6jaIIC
Atlanta was up 29-28 after one. Devonte’ led the Hornets with seven points. Both teams were playing sound, cohesive basketball in the first quarter. It was quite pleasant to watch.
Caleb Martin hopped off the bench and scored eight points in his first four minutes, including a pair of triples. Bismack Biyombo picked up his third foul with about nine minutes left in the half, but PJ Washington was defending Clint Capela on the interior and hitting threes on the other end, so it didn’t hurt them.
Charlotte put their foot on the gas and went on a 22-8 run to end the second quarter, allowing only two field goals by the Hawks in the final eight minutes and taking a 59-50 lead into the break. PJ led all scorers with 12 points, with Terry and LaMelo adding nine and Devonte’, Gordon Hayward, and Martin adding eight.
After an awkward fall in the second quarter, Bogdanović was ruled out by Atlanta for the rest of the game to start the third. Hopefully he’s all right. The Hornets started the third quarter shooting 1-of-7 from the floor, which allowed the Hawks to cut into the lead and make it 65-63 Hornets with 6:45 left in the frame.
As usual, LaMelo re-entered the game and gave the Hornets a spark. He put up seven points, two rebounds and four assists in seven minutes, giving himself 16/9/9 and going on #TripleDoubleWatch heading into the fourth. PJ was still leading all scorers with 18 points as Charlotte took an 87-76 lead into the fourth quarter.
The fourth quarter was dominated by Caleb and LaMelo. First, Caleb snatched Nathan Knight’s soul from his body:
Highlight of the Knight @Calebmartin14 | #AllFly pic.twitter.com/4xbFlPuoBE— Charlotte Hornets (@hornets) January 10, 2021
The Hawks seemed to let some apathy creep in as the second half transpired. With 7:51 to go, the Hornets were up 101-86—and then LaMelo made history.
LaMelo Ball becomes the youngest player in NBA history to record a triple-double. pic.twitter.com/yI05kUXSBp— FOX Sports: Hornets (@HornetsOnFSSE) January 10, 2021
Our Charlotte Hornets drafted the youngest player to ever record a triple-double in an NBA game, and he did it coming off the bench. If there’s anyone who isn’t on board with LaMelo yet, they never will be. The future is here, and it is in good hands.
The last handful of minutes were uneventful as Hornets easily closed this one out and took home the win with a final score of 113-105. LaMelo finished with 22/12/11 on 9-of-13 shooting, while Terry added 23 points and PJ put up 22, seven rebounds and a career-high six blocks. Caleb had 15 points (6-of-9 FG) in 17 minutes off the bench. Cam Reddish and DeAndre Hunter led the Hawks with 22 and 21 points, respectively. Trae Young has been held without a made 3-pointer and turned the ball over 11 times in two games against Charlotte this season.
As always, the takeaways to finish the evening; LaMelo is a gift from above and you all are welcome for the “LaMelo Ball is going to be a Charlotte Hornet” bit; Devonte’ didn’t shoot well, but was more aggressive (6-of-8 FT) and still made plays/defended; Is PJ back? PJ is back, he was an excellent center tonight; five minutes of Cody Martin and no Jalen McDaniels again, a bit strange; Miles Bridges wasn’t scoring but affected the game defensively, good sign for the future.