Charlotte Hornets rookie LaMelo Ball scored a career-high 34 points to oblige eight aids a 138-121 misfortune to the Utah Jazz on Friday night.
Ball shot 14-of-27 from the field with four 3-pointers, one block and zero turnovers. His 34 points are the most by a Hornets freshman since Alonzo Mourning in 1993.
Ball stayed a starter in Friday’s down notwithstanding the arrival of Terry Rozier, whom the 19-year-old had supplanted in the beginning lineup the previous two games. Ball started the season off the bench however has now begun in Charlotte’s previous three games.
Jazz star Donovan Mitchell called Ball “the real deal” after the game.
“I’m not going to lie, I’m very impressed,” said Mitchell, who helped lead the Jazz to their 14th victory in 15 games. “Not just his playmaking ability and his competitiveness, but his joy. I don’t think I have ever not seen him smile throughout the game.”
Hornets coach James Borrego was most satisfied that Ball didn’t have any turnovers.
“That’s big for us — we need that,” Borrego said. “When I see that ratio, good things are going to happen for us most times than not, no matter if the shots go in or not.”
Hornets guard Devonte’ Graham left the game in the second quarter with a stressed groin and didn’t return, while Utah’s Mike Conley created tightness in his hamstring and played just 22 minutes. Neither one of the coaches gave an update on the status of their players after the game.
Ball, the No. 3 overall pick in the 2020 NBA draft, is averaging 13.6 points, 5.8 bounce back and 6 aids 26.5 minutes for each game this season.