Ball Makes NBA History, Hornets Notch 3rd-Straight Win Against Hawks

Charlotte Rookie Becomes League’s Youngest to Ever Record a Triple-Double
by Sam Perley

More Coverage: Ball Triple-Double Gallery | Game Action Gallery | Pregame Fashion Gallery | Coach Borrego Interview | LaMelo Ball Interview | Cody Martin Interview | PJ Washington Interview

A historic performance from rookie guard LaMelo Ball propelled the Charlotte Hornets to a third consecutive victory as they knocked off the Atlanta Hawks for a 113-105 home win on Saturday, Jan. 9 at Spectrum Center.

Ball finished the night with career-high marks in scoring (22 points on 9-of-13 shooting), rebounding (12) and assists (11) to become the youngest player in NBA history to record a triple-double (19 years and 140 days) and just the third rookie overall to accomplish this feat off the bench with 20 points. The Chino Hills, CA native just narrowly missed setting this record last night in New Orleans, coming up one assist short against the Pelicans.

“He just continues to get better,” said Head Coach James Borrego following the win. “He’s a special player. He’s not fazed by the moment. It’s like he’s been doing this for a number of years already. Playmaking, shot-making, on the boards, he made the right decisions. A nineteen-year-old rookie does not look like this. This is just rare what you’re seeing. He’s humble, genuine and coachable.”

“I’m just letting the game come to me,” said Ball. “I’m learning from the whole team and just picking up a lot – pretty much the little things. The main goal is always winning. You always want to win. Whenever you get a win, that’s great. For me, I’m just going out and playing basketball.”

Charlotte and Atlanta traded runs throughout the night, with the former using a 22-10 stretch across five minutes between the third and fourth quarters to open up a 101-86 lead with 7:51 left on the clock. The Hawks stayed aggressive the rest of the way, but never got closer than eight on their way to a 10th loss in 12 regular season visits to Charlotte.

Terry Rozier (game-high 23 points and four steals) and PJ Washington (22 points, seven rebounds and a career-high six blocks) also had 20-point games for the Hornets. Caleb Martin added a season-high 15 points off the bench, Gordon Hayward chipped in 13 points and Devonte’ Graham finished with nine points, five rebounds, seven assists and two steals.

Atlanta got a pair of 20-point games from reserve Cam Reddish (21) and De’Andre Hunter (20) in the loss. Trae Young (15 points on 5-of-19 shooting and 10 assists) and John Collins (12 points and 10 rebounds) both recorded double-doubles, Kevin Huerter scored 11 points off the bench and Clint Capela added seven points and a game-high 13 rebounds.

Charlotte had another strong offensive night, shooting 52% from the field and 46% from three (15-of-33). Atlanta won the rebounding battle, 47-42 (17-6 edge in offensive boards) and outscored the hosts by 10 in second-chance points (19-9), although shot just 37% and went 14-of-46 from beyond the arc (30%).

Borrego added, “The guys have been locked in defensively. We’re not perfect, but we’re getting better and moving in the right direction. Our guys competed, they followed the gameplan. They’re locked in. They’re buying into the defense.”

The Hornets will next play host to the New York Knicks on Monday, Jan. 11 starting at 7 PM EST at Spectrum Center. Catch the action on Fox Sports Southeast, the Fox Sports GO App and WFNZ 610 AM or 102.5 FM.

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