LaMelo Ball keeps looking like the real deal.
The third overall pick has already moved into the Charlotte Hornets’ starting lineup, set an NBA record for youngest player to record a triple-double and energized one of the NBA’s most moribund franchises. He further made his mark on the record books Friday.
Facing the Utah Jazz, currently the top team in basketball, Ball posted 34 points, eight assists and four rebounds. It was the first 30-point game of Ball’s career, and obviously a career high in points. He also became the youngest Hornets player to ever drop 30 in a game.
Ball is now averaging 13.6 points, 6.0 assists and 5.8 rebounds per game on 43.5 percent shooting from the field and 33.7 percent from deep. He leads all NBA rookies in points scored, assists and rebounds through Friday.
Not bad for a player who had to fight for a position in the starting lineup after being challenged by his coach. At only 19 years old, Ball is showing the dynamic playmaking and basketball IQ that made him one of the draft’s most intriguing prospects, and also improving as a scorer in ways it took years for his brother Lonzo to achieve.
If he keeps that up, the Rookie of the Year Award won’t be the only good thing coming to him in the future.
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