by Taha Qureshi

CHICAGO -- What once was civil sibling rivalry that regularly played out at their family home's backyard in Chino Hills, California has officially spilled unto the ultra-competitive courts of the NBA.

The battle of the Balls took stage at the United Center on November 29 when big brother Lonzo Ball of the Chicago Bulls hosted younger brother LaMelo Ball and the Charlotte Hornets in a showdown between Eastern conference contenders.

Much to the delight of the full-house crowd of 21,917 who packed the arena on a crisp December night, the brothers put on a show that helped shape what turned out to be an entertaining contest.

The 6-foot-6, 190-pound Lonzo finished with 16 points and 8 assists to aid the Bulls to a 133-119 victory. He shot 6-of-8 from the field and 4-of-5 from 3.

The older Ball, 23, was taken second overall by the Los Angeles Lakers in the who was drafted by the L.A. Lakers in the 2017 NBA draft. After a brief stint with the New Orleans Pelicans he was traded to Chicago this past offseason.

LaMelo couldn't find much traction on shooting, missing 10 of 15 shots. But he still managed with 18 points, aided by 3 conversions from downtown.

LaMelo, 20, was also a high draft pick, taken third overall by the Hornets in 2020. The 6-foot-7, 190-pound combo guard is the more explosive scorer, averaging 20 points per through 24 games this season. 

Lonzo is one of the major reasons why the Bulls are currently fourth in the East standings (14-8) and on pace to seize a playoffs berth. His leadership at the point guard position has done wonders for a team that has been looking for a full-time play maker.

LaMelo's Hornets are only 9th in the East right now but their record is above average at 13-11.

Too early to tell which Ball makes a deep playoffs run. But one thing's for sure. Tehse Balls are here to stay in the NBA. 

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