Luke Walton was surprised to hear that LeBron James and Lonzo Ball were only the second Lakers teammates to record a triple-double in the same game.
“I know it’s not easy. There have been a lot of good players in Lakers history and I figured Walton and Kobe (Bryant) would have done it a few times,” joked Walton, a former small forward with the Lakers.
James had 24 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists, while Ball had 16 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists as Los Angeles routed the Charlotte Hornets 128-100 on Saturday night. The only other Lakers to accomplish the feat in the same game were Magic Johnson and Kareem Abdul-Jabbar on Jan. 22, 1982.
“It’s crazy, man,” Ball said. “I watched a lot of him (LeBron) growing up and now we had triple-doubles in the same game. I don’t even know if I dreamed of that before.”
Added James: “Any time you can put yourself in the conversation of Laker history, all the guys that have come through this franchise, it’s pretty special.”
James said he and Ball are “one in the same” when it comes to their playmaking ability.
“We are always looking for our teammates and that’s the greatest satisfaction we can have when we see our teammates score the ball,” James said. “Always been pretty good rebounders for our positions. Him at the guard spot and me at the 4. … We just try to be aggressive, attack the rim, make shots. We showed all that tonight.”
James continued his dominance over Charlotte, improving to 27-1 in his last 28 games against Michael Jordan’s franchise.
He was unstoppable throughout on penetration, helping the Lakers outscore the Hornets 40-17 in the third quarter and build a 30-point lead with his second triple-double of the season and 75th of his career. He did not need to play in the fourth quarter.
Ball played into the fourth quarter to earn his third career triple-double. He finished 7 of 11 from the field, helping hand the Hornets their worst loss of the season on the second night of a back-to-back.
Miles Bridges had a career-high 17 points for the Hornets.
Lakers: Here’s an example of the LeBron James factor: The crowd of 19,461 fans was the largest ever to see an NBA game at the Spectrum Center.
Hornets: Sideline analyst Stephanie Ready worked her last game for the Hornets and the team did a nice tribute to her on the scoreboard during the first half. Ready is moving on to take a new position outside the organization. … Charlotte was outrebounded 52-28.