It will be tough for Charlotte Hornets head coach James Borrego to keep LaMelo Ball out of the starting lineup going forward.

The rookie point guard made his third career start on Friday night, and proceeded to score a career-high 34 points — 14-of-27 from the field, 4-of-9 on threes, and 2-of-3 at the line — against the Utah Jazz. He also dished out eight assists with *zero* turnovers in 39 minutes.

The Hornets lost to the excellent Jazz 138-121, but it was a victory for any Charlotte fans thinking big-picture. Ball looks like a special talent, and looks much more ahead of schedule than most NBA evaluators anticipated. He just turned 19 years old in August.

Ball has scored at least 22 points, with at least 50% shooting from the field, in three of his last four games. He’s also averaging 5.8 rebounds per game this season. We’re going to see *a lot* of triple-doubles from Ball in the coming years.

About Matt Clapp

Matt is an editor at The Comeback. He attended Colorado State University, wishes he was Saved by the Bell's Zack Morris, and idolizes Larry David. And loves pizza and dogs because obviously.

He can be followed on Twitter at @Matt2Clapp (also @TheBlogfines for Cubs/MLB tweets and @DaBearNecess for Bears/NFL tweets), and can be reached by email at mclapp@thecomeback.com.