LaMelo Ball heard the chants. It was impossible not to.
While the Hornets were in a staggering 26-2 run, the Charlotte crowd showered the young star with MVP chants.
“Yeah, definitely, I heard it,” said Ball in one Interview after the game. “The city hub. I love it. We’ll keep trying to win.”
The Indiana Pacers increased their lead to over 20 points early in the third quarter and looked like they were in cruise control until the jaw-dropping Charlotte run turned the game upside down.
Ball scored 12 of his 31 points in the third quarter, making for a dramatic 123-122 home win.
With nine rebounds, seven assists and seven makes from beyond the 3-point line, it was a statement opening performance from last season’s Rookie of the Year winner.
“I just go out there and hoop. That’s all I do and do out there.
Two free throws by PJ Washington, 4.6 seconds ahead, gave Charlotte the lead before Domantas Sabonis secured victory for the Hornets from close range.
All the usual highlights were shown in Ball’s performance.
The long range bombs.
In addition to Ball, the Hornets received major contributions from Gordon Hayward with 27 points and Ish Smith with 14 points and five assists from the bench.
The Hornets are now heading out to face Cleveland after a night off, but if Opening Night is something, the 2021-22 Hornets will again be a must-see.