LaMelo Ball notched his second career triple double in a back and forth game full of surprises.
LaMelo Ball tallied a monster triple double with 25 points, 15 rebounds, and 12 assists but the Charlotte Hornets couldn’t pull out an overtime win over the Los Angeles Lakers in a game full of half court heaves, delay of games, technical fouls, and all sorts of other tomfoolery.
The two team played an even, back and forth first half. LaMelo Ball, Gordon Hayward, Miles Bridges, and Terry Rozier all scored in double figures for the Hornets while Carmelo Anthony, DeAndre Jordan, and Anthony Davis did most of the damage for the Lakers. The Lakers threatened to go ahead by double figures in each of the first two quarters, but in both instances the Hornets were able to quickly make up the ground and level the score. At the half, the Hornets trailed 61-60.
Miles Bridges found Mason Plumlee with a nifty wrap around pass to start the second half, then Terry Rozier scored eight points as part of a 12-3 start to the third quarter in favor of the Hornets. They gave it all back as another second half cold spell allowed the Lakers to go on an 11-0 run and retake the lead. A Kelly Oubre 3-pointer from the top of the key calmed things down for a short while, but an absurd end to the quarter went heavily in favor of the Lakers. Terry Rozier was called for the Hornets third delay of game after he tapped the ball away while trying to put his shoe on after a made shot. After the Lakers made the free throw, an errant inbounds pass fell into the hands of Malik Monk, who through up a running, leaning heave from half court that somehow found the bottom of the net. Those gifted four points put the Lakers up seven heading into the fourth.
Rajon Rondo was ejected early in the fourth quarter for clubbing Terry Rozier in the head has he meandered through the paint. The two flagrant free throws from Rozier were the only points the Hornets scored in the first three minutes of the quarter as the Lakers raced out to a 14 point lead. Gordon Hayward hit a 3-pointer to stop the bleeding a bit, and the pass from Ball was his tenth assist of the night, giving him his second career triple double. That bucket pulled the Hornets within eight.
A short while later, the Hornets took possession of the ball down nine. Ball was fouled attempting a layup, and the Lakers disagreed. They were called for a second delay of game trying to stall the free throws attempts, then both Russell Westbrook and Carmelo Anthony were assessed technical fouls after aggressively arguing with the delay of game penalty. Ball hit all five free throws to pull the Hornets within four. After some back and forth, Ball found Miles Bridges streaking down the court for a transition 3-pointer to tie the game with 23.7 seconds to go.
The Lakers after timeout play consisted of Anthony Davis holding the ball for 15 seconds at the 3-point line before heaving up a heavily contested jump shot. It missed everything, and Ball secured the rebound with 1.3 seconds to play. Bridges rushed a last second attempt, and the game went to overtime.
The Hornets scored on their first three possessions of overtime, but the Lakers were able to match and took the lead on Carmelo Anthony’s seventh 3-pointer of the game. The Hornets caught what we’ll call an unlucky break on their ensuing possession. Gordon Hayward was stripped of the ball and it bounced harmlessly out of bounds. The officials ruled Lakers ball, and review somehow confirmed that seemingly incorrect call. The Lakers went up three on the free possession, and the Hornets couldn’t quite overcome that deficit. The Hornets had a chance to tie it at the buzzer, but Anthony Davis blocked Terry Rozier’s 3-point attempt. The ball eventually found Cody Martin, but his buzzer beater was just an inch or two too long.
The Hornets did a good job battling back in the fourth quarter with the help of some irrational Lakers anger. Ball’s triple double was complemented by 29 points from Terry Rozier and 21 points from Gordon Hayward. Miles Bridges finished with 19 points and eight rebounds while Mason Plumlee turned in a double double with 13 points and 10 rebounds.
The Hornets have one more game to end this disastrous Western Conference road trip in Memphis on Wednesday.