East Notes: Hornets, LaMelo Ball, Celtics, Bucks, Giannis Antetokounmpo


Point guard LaMelo Ball said he’s starting to feel like himself for the first time in a while — as evidenced by his 36-point night in Monday’s win over the Celtics.LaMelo Ball

“I’m a little more healthy and I have some games under my belt,” Ball told reporters. “My game has finally got there and I’m feeling better now.”

He appeared in just 36 games last year because of ankle injuries. That included an injury after stepping on the foot of a fan sitting courtside.

  • Ball is averaging 32 points over the past eight games, and the Hornets are playing better now that forward Miles Bridges is back on the court, having served his 10-game suspension.


Star wing Jayson Tatum scored 45 points, but missed a late free throw, as the Celtics had their six-game winning streak snapped via Monday’s overtime loss to the Hornets.

“We have to regroup,” Tatum told reporters. “We had six wins in a row and it’s easy to get complacent and we paid for it tonight.”

  • Tatum added that he felt like the missed free throw was on the mark. “Was I surprised? Yeah, I was surprised,” he said of the miss. “It felt good, just didn’t go in.”


Forward Giannis Antetokounmpo put forth one of the best shooting nights in NBA history on Monday, when he scored 42 points to lift the Bucks to a road win over the Wizards.

His 20-of-23 performance comes out to 87 percent shooting — the best on at least 20 shots since Mike Woodson of the then-Kansas City Kings went 22-of-24 (92 percent) in a 48-point outburst vs. the Rockets on Feb. 20, 1983.

“Left block, right block, transition, rim run, off the dribble,” Antetokounmpo told reporters. “Roll, pop — just play random basketball. I think it’s harder to guard, harder for them to load up.”

  • Bucks coach Adrian Griffin called Antetokounmpo “unstoppable,” but Antetokounmpo said he’s not sure about that particular description. “I wish it was easy,” he said. “I wish I could come in and score 42 every game, but it’s hard. You’ve got to work extremely hard to get comfortable, to get in your rhythm, to get to your spot, to play-make for yourself, to play-make for your teammates. It’s hard.”

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