Young Charlotte Hornets star LaMelo Ball added another highlight to his ever-growing reel on Monday night when he threw a brilliant green light float in the dying seconds of a 103-99 win over the Milwaukee Bucks.
Despite a 15-point lead in the third quarter, the Hornets were looking at a potential overtime after Wesley Matthews tied the score at 99-99 on a strikeout with 35.4 seconds left. Ball stepped up the possession that followed to make sure there was no extra basketball.
Controlling upwards, Ball waited for the shot clock to end, then began to drive hard towards his right hand. When he got to the elbow, he suddenly planted, lifted the ball over his head (and Matthews on defense), and drifted sideways across the paint. As he hung in the air, he floated the ball upwards and put the Hornets in place for good with 15.4 seconds left. It was an exceptional display of athleticism, ingenuity and body control.
Ball finished the night with 23 points, five rebounds and three assists in another strong overall performance. Now in his second season in the league, he’s starting to figure things out and has even generated some All-Star buzz with averages of 19.3 points, 7.4 rebounds and 7.8 assists per game.
But while Ball once again made headlines, the bigger story is that the Hornets beat defending champion Bucks for the second time in a row, and have now won three games in a row to move up to 22- 19. Although they have been streaked, these last two victories show the potential of this young Hornets team. They currently sit eighth in the East, but are only three games away from the Bucks, fourth, and have a real shot at making the playoffs for the first time since 2016.