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LaMelo Ball benched for part of Wednesday’s win over Magic

The phenom sat out most of the second and third quarters before returning in the fourth to help the team win.

LaMelo Ball #2 and Miles Bridges #0 of the Charlotte Hornets shake hands against the Orlando Magic on October 27, 2021 at Amway Center in Orlando, Florida. Photo by Fernando Medina/NBAE via Getty Images

Final update — LaMelo Ball was benched for parts of the second and third quarters in Wednesday’s 120-111 win over the Orlando Magic. Ball ended up returning in the fourth quarter, but finished with just 7 points, 6 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals on 3-of-14 shooting (1-of-5 from 3).

So he didn’t completely bust in fantasy due to the steals and assists, but it wasn’t pretty given Melo’s price tag on DraftKings. Bridges continued his scoring binge to start the season with another 30-point game (31) with 6 rebounds.

Update — Melo has finally started getting more minutes in the fourth quarter with the game tight. He’s up to 7 points, 5 boards and 3 assists with 2 steals, so that isn’t a complete bust just yet. He has a chance to save in DFS and fantasy basketball. Bridges is up to 28 points and is closing in on another 30-point outing.

Charlotte Hornets G LaMelo Ball appears to have been benched again Wednesday night vs. the Orlando Magic. Ball has only played 16 minutes through three quarters while the Hornets and Magic are in a tight matchup. Ball only has four points with four boards and a pair of assists so far.

The Hornets lean heavily on their guards, so it is surprising to see Ball get the least amount of playing time among the regular backcourt players. Terry Rozier was also ruled out of the contest, which would’ve meant more playing time for Ball if anything. The reigning Rookie of the Year has been solid so far this season, averaging 22.8 points, 6.8 assists and 5.5 rebounds per contest entering Wednesday’s game.

Charlotte was favored in the contest, according to DraftKings Sportsbook, and Ball was likely to be a favorite among DFS and fantasy players. He likely would’ve come at a lower cost than bigger stars, so this performance is tough to stomach for fantasy managers.