The rookie playmaker became the youngest player in league history to record a triple-double with 22 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists on Saturday night, helping the Charlotte Hornets beat the Atlanta Hawks 113- 105 for their third consecutive victory.
“A 19-year-old rookie doesn’t look like that,” Hornets coach James Borrego said. “It’s rare what you see. ”
Ball’s historic performance came just two nights after missing his first triple-double finishing with 12 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists in a win over the New Orleans Pelicans over his brother Lonzo.
He said he had not started to process the fulfillment.
“I live my life and I know what I’m capable of, so stuff like that doesn’t move me like that,” Ball said. “I know it’s supposed to happen. ”
Ball replaced Markelle Fultz as the youngest NBA player to record a 177-day triple-double.
“He’s a great PG who can pass, bounce back and he’s a smart player,” said Trae Young of Atlanta. “Things are going to get even easier for him in this league as he plays more and more games. ”
Ball tied his best score in 9 of 13 shots from the field as the Hornets handed the struggling Hawks their fourth straight loss. He became only the fifth rookie in NBA history to record a triple-double and the first Hornets player to do so coming off the bench.
Borrego said he loved Ball’s wit and energy, but what impressed him the most was his poise and confidence.
“He’s not shaken by the moment. It’s like he’s been doing this for a number of years, ”Borrego said of Ball, who played abroad before becoming the third pick in the NBA Draft.
Ball had several clean passes, including a perfect shot behind the back to set up a 3-pointer by PJ Washington.
“It’s difficult because you don’t know when it’s happening. He could throw it behind his head, behind his back or straight at you, ”joked Washington, who had 22 points and was receiving several assists from Ball. “You have to be active and aware when he has the ball. It’s always fun to play with a guy like that. ”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.