NBA: LaMelo Ball helps Hornets top Hawks, end skid | Inquirer Sports
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NBA: LaMelo Ball helps Hornets top Hawks, end skid

/ 12:44 PM February 14, 2023

LaMelo Ball Hornets NBA

LaMelo Ball #1 of the Charlotte Hornets walks backcourt during the first half of a game against the Milwaukee Bucks at Fiserv Forum on January 31, 2023 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Stacy Revere/Getty Images/AFP

Taking control of the game at times, LaMelo Ball scored 30 points as the Charlotte Hornets did enough to end a seven-game losing streak by defeating the visiting Atlanta Hawks 144-138 on Monday night.

Ball shot 12-for-19 from the field and distributed a game-high 15 assists for the hot-shooting Hornets, who hadn’t won since Jan. 29. They made 63.1 percent of their shots from the field.

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Terry Rozier scored 29 points on 11-for-19 shooting, Gordon Hayward had 21 of his 26 points in the first half and P.J. Washington posted 22 points. Dennis Smith Jr. scored 12 points off the bench for Charlotte.

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Despite defensive glitches, Charlotte had the offense clicking in such a manner that it didn’t matter.

Trae Young pumped in 25 points to go with 14 assists, Clint Capela tacked on 22 points on 11-for-17 shooting, De’Andre Hunter had 21 points, Dejounte Murray notched 20 points and Saddiq Bey finished with 12 points for Atlanta, which was 21-for-21 from the free-throw line.

Young’s 3-pointer with 3:59 left in the fourth quarter kept the Hawks in range at 130-124. Another trey from Young made it 134-132 with 2:22 remaining.

Hayward responded with a long triple, but the Hawks scored back-to-back baskets to climb within one. The Hornets continued to hold on just long enough but weren’t safe until Washington’s 3-pointer with 23.1 seconds left pushed the edge to 144-138.

Atlanta closed within 99-96 late in the third quarter, but the Hornets posted the next 10 points to close the quarter. The Hawks managed only two free throws in the last three minutes of the frame.

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Charlotte held a 74-68 halftime lead on the strength of 66.7 percent (28-for-42) shooting from the field. Hayward had three 3-point baskets.

Atlanta stayed close, partly because of 10 Charlotte turnovers. The Hawks hit three of their last four 3-point attempts in the half after checking in at 1-for-11 from long range. Bey made the last two from deep.

The Hornets had a big first quarter for a 36-27 lead. Charlotte eclipsed the 60-point mark with about 4 1/2 minutes left in the first half, making 24 of its first 34 shots from the field.

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