- Charlotte Hornets point guard LaMelo Ball recorded his first triple double on Saturday night against the Atlanta Hawks.
- Ball becomes the youngest player in NBA history to record a triple double, breaking Markelle Fultz’s record by 177 days.
- LaMelo is currently third in the 2021 Rookie of the Year oddsboard at +375, behind James Wiseman (+200) and Anthony Edwards (+350).
The Charlotte Hornets defeated the Atlanta Hawks 113-105 on Saturday night for their third straight win of the season. Terry Rozier led the Hornets with 23 points while P.J. Washington added 22 points and 7 boards. But it was Hornets’ rookie LaMelo Ball who owned the night with a performance that put him in the record books.
Ball finished with 22 points, 12 rebounds, and 11 assists as Charlotte defeated Atlanta 115-103. While his passing and ability to crash the glass have been evident since he entered the league, it was his scoring which impressed against the Hawks.
LaMelo went scoreless in his NBA debut and is currently shooting just 43.5% from the field and 35.3% from behind the three-point area. But on Saturday, he shot 9-13 from the field and 3-5 from deep.
“A 19-year-old rookie does not look like this,” Hornets coach James Borrego said. “This is rare what you’re seeing.”
Indeed LaMelo’s statline was rare and it put his name in the NBA’s annals.
Youngest Player to Record a Triple Double
LaMelo Ball becomes the youngest player in NBA history to record a triple-double.
He’s only 19. pic.twitter.com/lyJBnxQiNd
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 10, 2021
At 19 years and 140 days old, LaMelo replaced Markelle Fultz as the youngest player in NBA history to record a triple double. Fultz had his first NBA career-triple double at the age of 19 years and 317 days on April 11, 2018. Other notable NBA players to post their first triple double at a young age are Luka Doncic ( 19 years and, 327 days), LeBron James (20 years, 20 days), and Magic Johnson (20 years, 75 days).
LaMelo’s history-making performance came just two nights after he missed out on a triple double with 12 points, 10 rebounds, and 9 assists in his first head to head NBA encounter with brother Lonzo and his New Orleans Pelicans. On Saturday, LaMelo’s triple double came on a night where he tied his scoring career-high.
Interestingly, Ball’s older brother Lonzo broke LeBron James’ record as a Lakers rookie on November 11, 2017 before Fultz set the last record in 2018. Just over three years after that, LaMelo was picked third overall in the 2020 NBA Draft by the Charlotte Hornets, making the Ball brothers the first siblings to be picked in the Top 3 of the NBA draft. Now, LaMelo has put his name in the NBA record books.
Three Wins in Four Days
THREE WINS IN FOUR DAYS! ???#AllFly pic.twitter.com/3hy1BtZKGc
— Charlotte Hornets (@hornets) January 10, 2021
The victory over the Hawks was Charlotte’s third in four games. With the triumph, the Hornets have moved to the .500 mark at 5-5. It’s still too early in the season but seeing Charlotte in 2nd place in the Southeast Division is a welcome sight considering that the Hornets are currently listed at the bottom of the division’s odds board at +2800 at SportsBetting.ag.
As for LaMelo, he is currently averaging 12.8 points, 6.3 rebounds, 5.9 assists, and 1.5 steals per game after 10 games played. Ball was the preseason favorite to win the 2021 NBA Rookie of the Year award but has slipped to third in the latest odds board at +375 behind James Wiseman (+200) and Anthony Edwards (+350).
Charlotte is playing well right now behind Gordon Hayward and Terry Rozier who are averaging 21.4 points and 20.3 points per game, respectively. If LaMelo continues to improve in the coming days, we could see a surprise season from Charlotte this season. The Hornets head home to the Spectrum Center on Monday as four-point betting favorites against another surprising team in the 5-4 New York Knicks.