LeBron James and Lonzo Ball
(J Alexander Diaz/Los Angeles Lakers)

LeBron and Lonzo Become 8th Tandem to Record Triple-Doubles in NBA History

by Mike Trudell
Lakers Reporter

LeBron James and Lonzo Ball became the first teammates since Vince Carter and Jason Kidd in 2007, and the first Lakers since Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1982, to each produce a triple-double in L.A.’s 128-100 victory at Charlotte on Saturday evening.

In fact, it was just the 8th time in NBA history that two teammates have gone TD, and the Lakers are now the only franchise to have done it twice. Here’s the rest of the list:

1/18/1962: Oscar Robertson and Arlen Bockhorn (Cincinnati Royals)
3/14/1964: Donnie Butcher and Ray Scott (Detroit Pistons)
3/12/1969: Art Harris and Lenny Wilkins (Seattle Supersonics)
1/22/1982: Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Magic Johnson (Lakers)
3/29/1987: Larry Bird and Robert Parish (Boston Celtics)
1/03/1989: Michael Jordan and Scottie Pippen (Chicago Bulls)
4/07/2007: Vince Carter and Jason Kidd (New Jersey Nets)
12/15/2018: LeBron James and Lonzo Ball (Lakers)

James needed only three quarters to reach his 24 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists, and Ball’s triple-double came at the 7:01 mark of the fourth quarter when he tipped in a Kentavious Caldwell-Pope’s miss, giving Ball 16 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists, not to mention five steals and one block.

“We just tried to do a little bit of everything to help our team win,” said LeBron in the walkoff interview on Spectrum SportsNet. “We tried to put the ball in the hole, rebound so we could start the break, and get our guys involved. That’s most important to the both of us, getting our guys involved. It’s a great feeling when you’re able to make a pass to a teammate and see them make a shot, and we just try to put it on time, on target. To be in elite company like that, you said the first time since ’82 for the Lakers, and first time since ’07 with Kidd and Vince, so, elite company.”

It was Lonzo’s first triple-double of the season and third in his young career, and LeBron’s 2nd this season and 75th of his career.

Lonzo’s first career triple-double, which came when he was 20 years and 15 days old, actually eclipsed LeBron’s previous record of 20 years and 20 days … at least until Markelle Fultz did it later last season when he was 19 years and 317 days old.

“They play basketball and they know how to make the right decisions,” said Luke Walton. “So I thought they were both very aggressive on both ends of the floor making sure we didn’t lose two in a row. It’s something that we talk about as a team and they are both such brilliant playmakers that when they are aggressive and they can get in the lane it puts a lot of pressure on another team’s defense and with LeBron we are used to him doing that.”

LeBron agreed.

“We pride ourselves on not losing two in a row,” he said. “We had a tough one in Houston, we understood what happened down there, so we came in here with the mindset, we knew (Charlotte) played last night and took a bad hit late in that game, and then we just tried to hit them again, from the start to the finish.”

After the third quarter, when LeBron appeared all but sure to be done for the evening with his team up 30, several Lakers approached Lonzo – who’s known to never check his stats during games – and basically demanded that he get a triple double. At that point, he needed only two assists and three boards to get there.

“They told me start of the fourth they wanted me to get it, and I got it for ‘em,” said Ball.

Lonzo had a big hammer dunk in the first half in addition to a pair of three-pointers, and was instrumental to the win defensively. Aside from his five steals, he hounded All-Star Kemba Walker throughout, helping to hold him to just four points on 2 of 13 shooting.

For Ball, it was pretty cool to do it all alongside LeBron, who happens to be his basketball idol.

“Dream come true,” he said when asked what it’s been like playing with the King. “I grew up watching him my whole life, he’s my favorite player of all time. To be out here, get wins with him, go through battle with him, it’s great.”

Now, they’re in the history books together.

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