June 27, 2022


Winners of two straight on the heels of a five-game losing streak, the Charlotte Hornets defeated the New York Knicks 104-96 on Friday night, evening their record at 7-7 for the year. 

LaMelo Ball finished with just 12 points on 4-of-13 shooting, including 0-of-5 from 3. But his impact was felt in every other area. Ball finished with 17 rebounds, nine assists and five steals, leading the Hornets in each of those categories. 

Those numbers all topped the Knicks’ box score, as well. 

Per Elias Sports, Ball is the third-youngest player in NBA history to lead both teams outright in those three categories for a single game, trailing only Magic Johnson and Luka Doncic. Pretty decent company. 

The stat line captures Ball’s across-the-board impact. He came into the league heralded as an exceptional passer, but he has proven to be much more. He’s a shooter. A scorer. At 6-foot-7, he can wreak havoc in passing lanes (two steals per game this season) and hold his own as a switchable, long, albeit sometimes undisciplined defender. He has rebounded from day one. 

So far this season, Ball is the only player in the league averaging at least 19 points, seven assists, seven rebounds and two steals per game. If you take the points requirement down to 18 per game, only Dejounte Murray joins Ball on the list. Ball is all-around impact manifested, and it showed up in a historic way on Friday night. 

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