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LaMelo Ball finishes just short of triple-double in first game vs. brother Lonzo

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In the NBA’s first battle between Lonzo Ball and LaMelo Ball, it was the younger brother who came out on top.

The rookie LaMelo helped lead his Charlotte Hornets to a 118-110 win over the New Orleans Pelicans on Friday. In the process, he nearly made some history with a stat line of 12 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists.

One more assist would have made Ball the youngest player in NBA history to record a triple-double. Instead, he’ll just have to be satisfied with the win and the knowledge that he buried a 3-pointer in his brother’s face:

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Lonzo finished with five points, two rebounds and three assists. The two brothers combined to shoot 6-of-20 from the field, but LaVar Ball won’t need an efficient shooting night to be proud of his children.

Friday’s game could be our best evidence yet that LaMelo, a divisive talent when he was selected third overall in the 2020 NBA draft, can be a star in this league. Entering Friday, Ball was averaging 11.8 points, 5.1 rebounds and 4.9 assists, already showing improvement after an NBA debut to forget.

Charlotte Hornets guard LaMelo Ball, rear, is defended by New Orleans Pelicans guard Lonzo Ball during the first quarter of an NBA basketball game in New Orleans, Friday, Jan. 8, 2021. (AP Photo/Derick Hingle)
LaMelo Ball is gaining steam in his rookie year. (AP Photo/Derick Hingle)

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