Behind 86 combined points from LaMelo and LiAngelo Ball, the Los Angeles Ballers wrapped up their regular season with a 169-153 victory against the Houston Ballers in Las Vegas on Thursday night.
Los Angeles finished on a four-game winning streak, and its 6-2 record is good enough for first place in the inaugural season of the Junior Basketball Association.
Houston came into this matchup having lost three of its last four contests. It was far from an easy victory for L.A., though. Houston took a three-point lead into halftime, leading to a back-and-forth battle throughout the third.
In the end, though, the Ball brothers were too much. After all, Gelo led the JBA in scoring after being a late arrival, and Melo led the league in total points.
Los Angeles grabbed control of the game when Gelo caught fire in the second half, as he made four consecutive attempts from beyond the arc late in the third. That outburst led to an impressive total of eight triples after he entered the game having made just 11 of his 52 attempts (21 percent) from three-point range.
Gelo finished with 52 points, six rebounds, three blocks and four steals.
Meanwhile, Melo did his best to fill the stat sheet. The 16-year-old dropped 34 points on 13-of-25 shooting, including five three-pointers. He found ways to get buckets from time to time, but he picked up a whopping 20 assists.
Melo flirted with a triple-double, grabbing nine rebounds to complement his point production. Then again, he committed 10 turnovers, which can be attributed to his aggressive style of play. He routinely looked for his brother on full-court passes to try to set up quick layups, connecting several times.
Los Angeles is the league's highest-scoring team (139 points per game), and it only improved its average with Thursday night's showing. When Gelo and Melo combine for 13 three-pointers, the L.A. Ballers are tough to beat.
The Ball brothers gave the 2018 NBA draft's No. 5 overall pick, Trae Young, a good show:
Four teams will play their regular-season finales Saturday, and the inaugural JBA All-Star Game will follow on Thursday, August 2. The JBA playoffs will tip off Tuesday, Aug. 7, and will conclude Sunday, Aug. 12.