LaMelo Ball Triple-Double Inspires Illawarra Hawks to Overtime Win over Taipans

Matt JonesFeatured ColumnistNovember 25, 2019

WOLLONGONG, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 25: Lamelo Ball of the Hawks drives to the basket during the round 8 NBL match between the Illawarra Hawks and the Cairns Taipans at WIN Entertainment Centre on November 25, 2019 in Wollongong, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
Mark Kolbe/Getty Images

LaMelo Ball starred for the Illawarra Hawks on Monday, inspiring the team to a 114-106 win over Cairns Taipans in overtime.

The 18-year-old was in sensational form from the off and eventually finished the game with a triple-double, comprising 32 points, 11 rebounds and 13 assists.

Per the NBL account, it was a landmark moment for the youngster and the league:

At the end of regulation play, Ball produced this clutch shot to take the match into overtime, with the team having seemingly let the game slip away from them late on:

They then pulled away from Cairns in overtime to earn a key win. The result takes the Hawks' record to three wins and eight losses for the campaign, moving them off the bottom of the NBL standings.

Ball has showcased flashes of his quality throughout the NBL season, but this was his best all-round performance of the campaign by a distance.

The point guard settled into the contest quickly and was the man the Hawks players consistently looked for when seeking to build attacks.

By the end of the first quarter, Ball was already on course for a huge contribution:

The confidence gained from such a quick start was clear, as Ball started to play with a swagger in the second quarter, tormenting the Taipans defenders.

He scored his team's final points of the first half after squaring up an opponent with some sharp footwork and then dropping back for a three-pointer:

Fox Sports' Olgun Uluc reflected on a memorable half from the teenager, as Illawarra were able to build a 59-47 lead at the interval:

In the second period, the Hawks came under pressure from the Taipans, and they struggled to get Ball into the game as frequently.

The Cairns side were able to limit Illawarra in attack and chopped down the Hawks' lead to nine points come the end of the third quarter. With momentum with the Taipans, an enthralling end to the game was in store.

While Ball was able to seal his triple-double, the Hawks faded badly late on as the Taipans upped the ante.

They were able to quickly close the gap in the latter stages and eventually moved into a three-point lead. However, with five seconds left on the clock, Ball was able to produce his deep shot to tie the game.

As the players geared up for overtime, Nick Quinn reflected on how much Ball seems to be enjoying the division:

In overtime, the Hawks were able to re-establish control and eventually end a dramatic contest with a relatively comfortable win. 

Next up for Ball and the Hawks is a clash with the New Zealand Breakers, who now have the worst record in the NBL this season, on Saturday. With Ball in this kind of form, they'll be hopeful of notching back-to-back wins.  

Related

    Drake Pays Tribute to Kobe ✊

    Drizzy has No. 8 and 24 jerseys on the table during 'Toosie Slide' music video

    NBA logo
    NBA

    Drake Pays Tribute to Kobe ✊

    Blake Schuster
    via Bleacher Report

    Report: Las Vegas Under 'Serious Consideration' for 2020 NBA Playoffs

    NBA logo
    NBA

    Report: Las Vegas Under 'Serious Consideration' for 2020 NBA Playoffs

    Paul Kasabian
    via Bleacher Report

    Frank Vogel 'Fine' Not Knowing Who Tested Positive for COVID-19 on Lakers

    Vogel says he doesn't know who tested positive on his team and is 'totally fine with that

    NBA logo
    NBA

    Frank Vogel 'Fine' Not Knowing Who Tested Positive for COVID-19 on Lakers

    Megan Armstrong
    via Bleacher Report

    LaMelo Buys Australian Team 💰

    Ball and his manager Jermaine Jackson have purchased the Illawarra Hawks, the NBL team LaMelo played on in Australia

    NBA logo
    NBA

    LaMelo Buys Australian Team 💰

    Scott Polacek
    via Bleacher Report