Ball makes NBA triple-double history

CHARLOTTE (Agencies): LaMelo Ball became the youngest player in NBA history to score a triple-double as Charlotte Hornets beat the Atlanta Hawks 113-105. At 19 years and 140 days old, Ball surpassed Markelle Fultz (19 years and 317 days) to claim the record with his 22 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists.

Ball is only the fifth rookie in NBA history to record a triple-double. “A 19-year-old rookie does not look like this,” said Hornets head coach James Borrego. “This is rare what you’re seeing.” Ball is the first player to come off the bench to score a triple-double for the Hornets, who recorded their third straight win.

The third overall pick in the 2020 draft, he had narrowly missed out on his first triple-double just two nights previously with his 12 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists in his side’s win over his brother Lonzo’s New Orleans Pelicans.

“I live my life and I know what I’m capable of, so stuff like this doesn’t move me like that,” Ball said. “I know that’s supposed to happen.”

Elsewhere, Eastern Conference leaders the Philadelphia 76ers fell to a 115-103 defeat by the Denver Nuggets, ending their 20-game winning streak at home.

The Sixers had only seven players available, due to both injury and the NBA’s health and safety guidelines, leading head coach Doc Rivers to say before the game that it should be postponed.

But play pressed on, with Gary Harris top-scoring with 21 points for the Nuggets and Nikola Jokic adding 15 points, 12 assists and nine rebounds.

Last season’s finalists Miami Heat ran out 128-124 winners at the Washington Wizards as Tyler Herro scored a season and game-high 31 points.

There was a season-high too for DeMar DeRozan as his 38 helped the San Antonio Spurs to a narrow three-point victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves.

In what was the Spurs’ third straight win on the road, they outlasted the Timberwolves in overtime to edge the game 125-122.

Tim Hardaway Jr. and Trey Burke also scored season bests of 36 and 29 respectively as the Dallas Mavericks overcame Orlando Magic 112-98 for their third straight win.

The Milwaukee Bucks were without two-time NBA most valuable player (MVP) Giannis Antetokounmpo due to back spasms for their home game against the Cleveland Cavaliers but still wrapped up a 100-90 win. The Sacramento Kings lost for the second consecutive night with a 125-99 defeat by the Portland Trail Blazers, while the Phoenix Suns avenged their loss at the hands of the Detroit Pistons the previous night by beating the Indiana Pacers 125-117.