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Dublin: 6°C Saturday 16 January 2021

LaMelo Ball leads Charlotte over Atlanta with historic triple double

The younger Ball brother’s dizzying rise in the NBA continued with another stellar performance.

Hornets guard LaMelo Ball (2) in action against the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday night.
Hornets guard LaMelo Ball (2) in action against the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday night.
Image: Jacob Kupferman/AP

LAMELO BALL’S DIZZYING rise in the NBA continued when he became the youngest player in history to record a triple double as his Charlotte Hornets beat the Atlanta Hawks on Saturday night.

Ball, 19, ended with 22 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists as the Hornets won 113-105, trumping Markelle Fultz by 177 days as the youngest player to record a triple double.

It came a day after Ball had won his first NBA battle against older brother Lonzo as Charlotte beat the New Orleans Pelicans.

Ball shot nine from 13 from the field in an effort made more remarkable by the fact he started on the bench. Terry Rozier topped the scoring for Charlotte with 23 points, while Cam Reddish had 21 for Atlanta, who have lost four straight games.

The Milwaukee Bucks overcame the absence of MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo in beating the visiting Cleveland Cavaliers 100-90.

Khris Middleton scored 27 points for the Bucks while Bobby Portis had 17 points and 11 rebounds as Milwaukee ended a five-game home stretch in which they went 4-1.

With Antetokounmpo missing after suffering back spasms a night earlier against the Utah Jazz, Milwaukee were able to secure the win despite a mammoth performance from Cleveland’s Andre Drummond, who had 26 points and 24 rebounds.

Nikola Jokic had 15 points and 12 assists to lift the Denver Nuggets to a 115-103 win at the depleted Philadelphia 76ers, who had only seven available players due to injuries and Covid issues.

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The home side were missing All-Stars Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid to injuries. Seth Curry is self-isolating after a positive Covid test, which also led to several other players being stood down due to having had contact with Curry.

Philadelphia only met the minimum eight-player requirement by naming injured forward Mike Scott, who was not able to play.

Given their problems, the 76ers did well to finish within 12 points of Denver, as Tyrese Maxey led them in defeat with 39 points.

In other games, the Miami Heat won a close one at the Washington Wizards by 128-124, the San Antonio Spurs won 125-122 in overtime at the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Dallas Mavericks beat the visiting Orlando Magic 112-98, the Phoenix Suns won 125-117 at the Indiana Pacers, and the Portland Trail Blazers won 125-99 at the Sacramento Kings.

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