There are certain times when a player is unstoppable in crunch time. That was the case for Charlotte Hornets’ star point guard LaMelo Ball in Sunday’s 124-118 loss to the Dallas Mavericks.
Entering the 4th quarter with just seven points to his name, Ball would explode in the 4th quarter to the tune of 23 points on eight of nine from the field, including five of six from three-point range while making both free throw attempts. This scoring surge from Ball allowed the Hornets to keep pace with the Mavericks down the stretch in the game’s final minutes.
Ball would finish with 30 points on a night that saw him make 11 of his 23 field goal attempts and 50% of his three-pointers (5-10). The former third-overall pick would also have 13 assists, 10 rebounds, one steal, and one block in the contest, resulting in his 10th career triple-double, the most in Hornets’ team history. Considering that Ball is still only 22 years old, and is the franchise’s all-time leader in triple-doubles, this is quite the feat. However, the volume of triple-doubles is just the beginning of what Ball accomplished Sunday night.
With his impressive outing, Ball became the first player in Charlotte Hornets’ history to record a 30-point triple-double in regulation. The only other player to finish with a triple-double featuring 30 points scored was Anthony Mason, but that was an occasion that required overtime for that to take place. Ball finding a way to end up in the Hornets’ record books in not one but two categories on the same night speaks volumes about his talent level and the trajectory that his career could be headed.
There is one more thing to note about Ball’s performance against the Mavs. This was easily Ball’s best offensive performance so far this season, as he has mostly struggled up to this point. Ball converted on more than 46% of his field goals in two of his previous three games when he failed to make more than 26.8% in the three games prior points toward Ball shaking off the rust and potentially being capable of leading the Hornets into what should be a very bright future.