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Recap: LaMelo Ball Adds To His ROTY Claim, Hornets Upset Suns In Win 124-121

LaMelo Ball is ridiculous.

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The 1st quarter of the game started out with a fun back and forth. The defense for both teams were lacking as Charlotte shot 50% from the floor and Phoenix shot a whopping 65%. The Suns ended the quarter with 38 points, Devin Booker led the way with 16 points.

Charlotte’s offense moved the ball really well with 8 players scoring in the 1st quarter. Charlotte ended the quarter with 34 points and was pretty efficient despite only shooting 1/9 from the three-point line.

The 2nd quarter was more of the same from both teams a lot of back and forth and not much resistance on defense from either team. Malik Monk was scorching hot off the bench in the 2nd quarter scoring 20 points in seven minutes of play. Monk led all scorers with 22 points going into halftime. The Hornets ended the 1st half trailing 66-67.

Charlotte really started to tighten up their defense in the 3rd quarter and forced some misses from the Suns offense. The ball pressure was really good especially from Terry Rozier who really set the tone even without scoring. LaMelo Ball was very active in the 3rd quarter doing pretty much everything steals, scoring, passing he had nine points, two assists, and a steal in the 3rd.

Charlotte outscored the Suns 31-24 to close the 3rd quarter and was able to grab a 6-point lead going into the 4th quarter. The Hornets offense got hot in the 3rd quarter and was able to knockdown some of their three-point shots they had been struggling with to start the game.

The 4th quarter was dramatic to say the least. LaMelo Ball looked nothing like a rookie, he was flat out dominant, essentially closing the door on the Suns comeback attempt. LaMelo ended the game with 20 points, 4 rebounds, 8 assist, and 2 steals. This was a game that should firmly put LaMelo Ball ahead of the pack in the rookie of the year rankings.

Hayward looked really good despite a quick turnaround from a hand injury he ended the game with 20 points and 8 rebounds. That’s encouraging moving forward as we get closer to the All-Star break.

Malik Monk’s 29 points and five threes off the bench was huge for Charlotte. Monk led the team in scoring and was the spark they’ve needed from that bench unit. Malik Monk is starting to build some rhythm, that’s now back to back games with 20 or more points from Monk.

This win moves Charlotte to (15-16) on the season and puts them in a tie with the Chicago Bulls for the 6th seed in the Eastern Conference standings. The Hornets continue their west coast trip Friday against the Golden State Warriors.