Hornets star LaMelo Ball draws ultimate respect from Giannis Antetokounmpo after 36-point explosion vs. Bucks
LaMelo Ball and the Charlotte Hornets just took the defending champions, Giannis Antetkounmpo and the Milwaukee Bucks, down to the wire. Normally, they would have slow first-half starts, but that was not the case on Wednesday night.
Charlotte found itself leading by as many as 17 points at one point. The Bucks woke up in the second half, made it a tightly contested game, and ended up winning with a go-ahead basket by their star, Antetokounmpo. Before the Greek Freak’s big shot though, Ball hit the most clutch shot of his career with a go-ahead 3-pointer. That shot gave Melo a career-high 36 points and eight threes in the game.
James Borrego had a ton to say about his growth as a player after another stellar performance.
“He’s grown all year,” Borrego said. “We’re fortunate to have him. On the road against the NBA Champions, one of the elite teams. His fearlessness and composure is fantastic. He’s a great player, it’s just the tip of the iceberg. The kid has a bright future.”
Ain’t that the truth. Ball seems to already be in mid-season form. He’s been racking up double-doubles and flirting with triple-doubles every now and then. Against the Bucks, he added five rebounds, nine assists and three steals to go with his new career-high in points. Not to mention, he also received a jersey swap from Giannis Antetokounmpo, who was clearly impressed with Buzz City’s star.
The two embraced one another and exchanged the million dollar merchandise. Class act by both players showing respect for one another after hitting clutch shots for their teams down the stretch.
LaMelo and Giannis swap jerseys after crazy ENDING. 🤝🤝 pic.twitter.com/0AfWtLvrqF
— House of Highlights (@HoHighlights) December 2, 2021
Overall, the Hornets played one of their best games of the season despite losing. “We had the right mentality from the start,” Borrego said. “We played for 48 minutes the right way and I don’t have one minute where I don’t think we were playing the right way.”
He’s on the money. The Hornets were swarming on defense, moved the ball around for the best shot, and made the right basketball play nearly every trip down. The game just came down to who had the ball last. Fortunately for the Bucks, they had six seconds left to let Giannis go to work in the open floor with one man to beat.
The Hornets should have tons of positive things to pull from this game. Both LaMelo Ball and Miles Bridges mentioned that the effort was there to win this game against one of the NBA’s best teams. They just have to play this same type of game against teams moving forward and success would be sure to follow.
They’ll be put to the test one more time in Atlanta for a matchup with the Atlanta Hawks. They have lost three straight games on this road trip, so that game will be huge.