East Notes: Hornets, LaMelo Ball, Wizards, Raptors, Pascal Siakam


Point guard LaMelo Ball has now scored at 30 points in seven of the past nine games. That included a 34-point, 13-assist performance in Wednesday’s win over the Wizards.LaMelo Ball (Getty)

“He’s playing at an unbelievable level,” forward Miles Bridges told reporters. “He’s made the leap into being a superstar. He was an All-Star, but now he’s a superstar. If he’s not on any of the All-NBA teams I’ll be surprised. He’s a winner.”

  • Coach Steve Clifford echoed those sentiments. “His vision and ability to deliver passes is really remarkable. He’s just playing at a super high level,” Clifford said of Ball.
  • Meanwhile, Bridges seems to be picking up where he left off two seasons ago, when he led the Hornets in scoring at 20.7 points per game. “I spent a lot of time in the gym,” he said. “I have confidence in my game.”


The Wizards dropped to 2-12 after the loss to the Hornets, but coach Wes Unseld Jr. indicated the fact they were in it until the bitter end … well, serves as something on which to build.

“We didn’t make enough plays late to get it done, but that’s progress,” Unseld told reporters. “To be in those situations where the game is tight, game is in the balance, I think that’s growth for us, so continue to lean in on that.”

  • It’s good that the Wizards are likely their effort a little bit lately. They will need it Friday, when they pay a visit to the mighty Bucks.


It went down the last shot — a miss by guard Pacers’ Buddy Hield at the buzzer — but the Raptors survived the avalanche that can be Indiana’s offense in a 132-131 win on Wednesday.

“We knew they were going to be a team that was going to try to run and score a lot,” Raptors coach Darko Rajakovic said. “I thought in the first half we did a good job in transition. They only got five points in transition. We continued to preach to slow those guys down and make them a half-court team. We talked about not letting them shoot early in the shot clock.”

  • Forward Pascal Siakam led the way with 36 points and 10 rebounds, going 13-of-24 shooting. “Pascal was amazing,” Rajakovic said. “He was so aggressive. He scored points in the paint and was versatile, driving to the rim.”

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