Lonzo Ball and LeBron James were the driving force for the Los Angeles Lakers as they each recorded a triple-double in a 128-100 blowout win over the Charlotte Hornets in the first of a back-to-back.
Ball and James became the first Lakers teammates to accomplish as much in the same game since Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar did so on Jan. 22, 1982. Jason Kidd and Vince Carter (2007) were the last NBA teammates with a triple-double in a single game.
JaVale McGee was a game-time decision due to flu-like symptoms, and he not only played but was part of a Lakers attack that was off and running early. He scored eight of the first 14 points to help propel the team to an early lead.
When the Hornets cut into their deficit, James and Kyle Kuzma combined for a 3-point barrage. The Lakers took a 32-22 lead into the second quarter and extended it behind strong play from Lance Stephenson and Ball’s activity.
After finishing the first quarter with a layup, Stephenson started the scoring for the Lakers by coming up with a steal and finding McGee on an alley-oop. Ball then contested a shot at the rim, took the rebound and pushed it ahead to Kentavious Caldwell-Pope for a breakaway dunk.
But just as their lead extended to 16 points, the Lakers began to run the ball over and become somewhat stagnant on offense. Rookie Miles Bridges made a pair of 3-pointers and his nine quick points helped the Hornets trim their deficit to 41-33.
Kentavious Caldwell-Pope knocked down back-to-back threes to help the Lakers close the first half on a positive note and with a 57-50 lead. A 22-6 run over the first five minutes of the third quarter helped the Lakers blow the game open.
The stretch included contributions from several teams, including Ball connecting on back-to-back 3-pointers followed by Kyle Kuzma getting the friendly bounce on his shot from deep to cap off a 9-0 run.
James checked out with 35 seconds remaining in the third quarter and the Lakers leading 97-67. HE finished with 24 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists, good for his second triple-double with the Lakers.
Ball remained in the game in the fourth with an opportunity to make history, and it came on an offensive rebound. Aside from his triple-double, Ball was instrumental in the Lakers containing Kemba Walker.
He made his first shot but missed the next seven and finished an abysmal 2-for-14 from the field.