• 66°

LaMelo Ball returns, helps Hornets beat Pistons 107-94


Associated Press

CHARLOTTE (AP) — LaMelo Ball returned from a 21-game absence with 11 points, helping the Charlotte Hornets claim a 107-94 victory over the Detroit Pistons on Saturday night.

A leading candidate for Rookie of the Year, Ball had surgery to repair a broken wrist sustained on March 20. The point guard played 28 minutes and added eight rebounds and seven assists, including a nifty underhand pass from his own backcourt to Miles Bridges.

“You have to have top-notch confidence to pull something like that off,” Bridges said. “He threw it right to my pocket. It’s good to have him back.”

Terry Rozier led Charlotte with 29 points, including a 3-pointer to beat the shot clock to help stave off Detroit’s final rally late in the fourth quarter.

Bridges added 27 points on 11-of-16 shooting and PJ. Washington had 16. Malik Monk, who returned after a 15-game absence (ankle), joined Ball with 11 points.

“I felt the game coming back to me,” Ball said. “Every day I woke up and the wrist was feeling better.”
Charlotte blocked 15 shots, a season high for any team and the fifth time the Hornets have had 15 or more blocks in a game in franchise history. They beat the Pistons for the 12th straight time.

Frank Jackson scored 25 points for Detroit, which has lost five of six. Saddiq Bey added 22, Tyler Cook 12, and Killian Hayes 10 for the Pistons, who cut the lead to single digits twice in the second half but couldn’t draw any closer.

Bridges left in the third period after appearing to injure his right shoulder blocking a shot. He had the shoulder on ice until late in the period and returned.

The Hornets, who entered the day eighth in the Eastern Conference, snapped a two-game skid. They’ll play in Detroit on Tuesday.

“I expect it to only get better from here, but it was a breath of fresh air just to have that jolt back in the gym for us,” Hornets coach James Borrego said of Ball’s return. “We found our way playing with pace even before this, but Melo really takes it to the next level.”


Borrego feels like Ball will prove he’s the Rookie of the Year in his final 10 games.

“We were climbing the standings with him in the lineup and Malik in the lineup,” Borrego said. “LaMelo has had a major impact on our winning this season. For a young guy to put up those numbers, but to do it with that sort of winning impact, is significant for us.”

Ball averaged 15.9 points and Monk 13.1 before their injuries.


Frank Jackson, a former Hornets draft pick, has filled a sixth-man need in Detroit. His coach identifies with his style.

“I’m happy for him,” Pistons coach Dwane Casey said of Jackson, averaging a career-best 9.1 points. “He’s my kind of guy. He’s worked, scratched, and earned everything.”


Hornets: Charlotte missed its first 10 3-point attempts and finished 14 of 37. … Forward Gordon Hayward (right foot sprain) did not play. … Guard Devonte’ Graham (right knee contusion) also missed the game.
Pistons: Detroit started three rookies — Bey, Hayes, and Isaiah Stewart. Josh Jackson, with three years of service, was the most senior starter. … Detroit had seven players unavailable for the game Saturday. Ruled out: Hamidou Diallo, Wayne Ellington, Jerami Grant, Cory Joseph, Jahlil Okafor, Mason Plumlee, and Dennis Smith Jr.


Hornets: Host Miami on Sunday.
Pistons: Host Orlando on Monday.



Weak jobs report spurs questions about big fed spending


Judge limits footage that family can see of deputy shooting in Elizabeth City


Woodland, two others share lead; Mickelson plays much worse but will still be around for weekend at Quail Hollow


Former NHL player to open mobster themed bar in Raleigh


California population declines for first time


GOP leaders differ on bottom line for state spending


Police: Man killed in shootout with officers in Winston-Salem


Man charged after thieves rob would-be gun buyers of wallets, shoes


Blotter: Four added to sheriff’s most wanted list

High School

High school football: Some anxious moments, but Hornets win state title


Photos: Salisbury High Hornets win big in 2AA championship game


County manager outlines projections for the upcoming fiscal year budget, suggests uses for stimulus money


Miami-based Browns Athletic Apparel opens second screen printing location in Salisbury


At funeral, fallen Watauga deputies remembered as ‘heroes’


COVID-19 cluster identified at Granite Quarry Elementary


More than half of North Carolinians have now taken at least one vaccine shot


City hopes to cover expenses in 2021-22 budget with surplus revenue generated this year


Fallen tree proves to be a blessing for local nonprofit Happy Roots


Quotes of the week


Health department drops quarantine time from 14 to 10 days


Blotter: More than $100,000 in property reported stolen from Old Beatty Ford Road site


City fights invasive beetles by injecting trees with insecticide


City names downtown recipients for federal Parks Service grant

China Grove

China Grove Town Council weighs 2021-22 budget priorities, supports buying body cameras