Los Angeles, United States—Lonzo Ball joined LeBron James in elite territory Saturday as their twin triple-doubles lifted the Los Angeles Lakers to a 128-100 NBA victory over the Hornets in Charlotte.
James, a four-time NBA Most Valuable Player, scored 24 points with 11 assists and 12 rebounds and Ball, the second overall selection in the 2017 draft, added 16 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds.
It was the first time two NBA teammates posted triple-doubles in the same game since Jason Kidd and Vince Carter did it for the Nets in 2007.
James and Ball became the only Lakers teammates to do it besides Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar in 1982.
“We just tried to do a little bit of everything to help our team win,” James said. “Try to put the ball in the hole, rebound so we could start the break and then get our guys the ball.
“That’s the most important to both of us,” James added, “getting our guys involved. It’s a great feeling when you’re able to get the ball to a teammate and see them make a shot.”
Both James and Ball had completed their triple-doubles with plenty of margin. After helping the Lakers out-score the Hornets 40-17 in the third quarter James sat out all of the fourth quarter and Ball played just five minutes of the final period.
Ball added five steals as the Lakers came back with a vengeance from a 126-111 loss to the Houston Rockets on Thursday.
“It was a good win,” Ball said. “We didn’t want to lose two in a row. We came out strong ... got it done.”
Meanwhile, Memphis Grizzlies general manager Chris Wallace called the unravelling of a planned three-team NBA trade over apparent mistaken identity of one of the players involved “unfathomable”.
The deal proposed on Friday would have sent Washington Wizards player Kelly Oubre to Memphis, the Suns’ Trevor Ariza to Washington and have the Grizzlies send one of their two players named Brooks – MarShon or Dillon – to Phoenix along with Wayne Selden.
“What happened last night was unfathomable. I’ve never experienced this before, and we were very clear about who was in this deal and Dillon Brooks never was intended to be a part of this, was not from our standpoint,” Wallace told reporters Saturday, according to the Memphis Commercial Appeal.
“And we made this very clear, it was not Dillon Brooks. And I let Dillon know that after the game, too, that don’t believe what you’re reading and hearing tonight. You were not a part of this trade and you’re not going to be a part of it.”
Dillon Brooks is a 22-year-old second-year player who started 74 games as a rookie last season, while MarShon Brooks is a 29-year-old veteran reserve.
Wallace was also irked that one of the other teams leaked the deal before he’d had a chance to inform his players, and he had to “drag two players out of a locker room” to tell them they’d been traded, only to tell them later that they hadn’t.
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