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The Los Angeles Ballers, led by LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball, rolled to a 170-123 win over the previously unbeaten Atlanta Ballers on Thursday night at Curtis Culwell Center in Garland, Texas.
LaMelo Ball was the game’s high scorer and finished with a triple-double (48 points, 24 rebounds and 14 assists). LiAngelo had 48 points and 16 boards.
Despite the team’s best efforts late in the game, Los Angeles fell two points short of breaking the JBA single-game scoring record.
With the game a short drive from Dallas, Cowboys running back Ezekiel Elliott was in attendance for the Ball brothers’ offensive explosion, courtesy of Seattle Ballers assistant coach Kristaan Johnson:
#JBA @DallasCowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott in the building checking out the LA’s Ball Brothers vs Atlanta Ballers @bbbjbaleague. LA Ballers lead ATL 41-11 in the 1st quarter. https://t.co/DWupDxdVeP
As much as Los Angeles’ offense will turn heads, its defense was far more impressive on the night. Atlanta entered the game averaging 127.2 points per game, second-best in the JBA. Los Angeles limited Atlanta to 11 points in the first quarter and just 44 points at in the first half.
LaMelo and LiAngelo both had the green light whenever they had the ball in their hands. LaMelo attempted 35 shots, while LiAngelo had 54 shots. They also combined for 42 three-point attempts.
Thursday’s game represented an improvement for LaMelo compared to his last game. He was 0-of-4 from beyond the arc in Los Angeles’ 171-140 win against the Philadelphia Ballers, whereas he shot 7-of-18 from the perimeter against Atlanta.
While both LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball dominated Thursday’s game, the Southern California News Group’s Fred Robledo wondered whether they’re actually any closer to their ultimate goals:
Fred J. Robledo @SGVNSports
Not sure how LaMelo and LiAngelo Ball are supposed to prepare for or impress NBA coaches playing a run-and-gun all-star offense with zero defense on teams that routinely score 150-170 points a game. It’s a total waste. I’m actually rooting for them, but this hurts, not helps. https://t.co/Jsiyx42euS
This is the second game in a row in which LiAngelo stuffed the stat sheet; he had 53 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists in the victory over Philadelphia.
LiAngelo went unsigned through the NBA Summer League, which denied him one avenue through which to impress coaches in his pursuit of an NBA career. As Robledo argued, the standard of the JBA may not be high enough for him to play himself onto a team in the NBA G League.
Los Angeles is action again Saturday against the Chicago Ballers at Wintrust Arena. Chicago was sitting at 2-3 prior to playing the Dallas Ballers in Thursday’s second matchup.