LiAngelo Ball and LaMelo Ball combined for 44 points Sunday as Vytautas Prienu suffered a 118-96 loss to Lithuanian Basketball League leaders Zalgiris Kaunas at Prienai Arena.
The lopsided defeat dropped BC Prienai to 4-18, two games worse than any other LKL team, as the Ball brothers' hyped debut last month has yet to yield significant team success.
Both Balls put together a strong offensive outing against BC Zalgiris, though. LiAngelo tallied a team-high 25 points on the strength of six three-pointers and chipped in two steals. LaMelo added 19 points and six assists.
It marked the first game after Shams Charania of Yahoo Sports reported Thursday the organization would pick up options in both players' contracts through the end of the 2017-18 season.
While their defensive shortcomings remain a concern, the duo's performance on offense against the seven-time defending LKL champions made quite a statement.
LaMelo in particular has made consistent strides against professional foes despite working with a lanky 16-year-old, 6'3'' frame that will need more bulk over time. There's no doubt the team was at its most dangerous when he was running the point.
Fresh Sports Talk commented on the teenager's impressive effort:
Meanwhile, LiAngelo was locked and loaded from beyond the arc all game, hoisting 12 of the team's 47 three-point attempts and knocking down half those shots.
It was fair to remain skeptical of the Balls' bloated stat lines against lesser opponents in the makeshift Big Baller Brand Challenge Games over the past month. But Sunday's numbers against one of the better teams in Europe showcased legitimate progress.
Lithuanian basketball reporter Donatas Urbonas provided a look at the postgame scene:
Looking ahead, the Ball brothers and their Vytautas Prienu teammates return to LKL action next Sunday when they travel to Siauliai Arena to face BC Siauliai.