The most recent COVID surge has decimated NBA rosters and taken steam off some of the league’s marquee matchups over the past few months, but it’s also leading to some incredible feel-good stories because of the extra opportunity given to those players. Which is probably not what the court usually sees. The latest example came from Lance Stephenson, who signed a 10-day contract with the Indiana Pacers on New Year’s Day and suited up for his first home game since 2018 in Indianapolis on Wednesday.
In Kyrie Irving’s first game of the season for the Brooklyn Nets, Stephenson completely stole the show in the first quarter, coming off the bench and shooting 8-for-9 to score 20 points in just six minutes, including a 4-off -5 was also included. From the 3-point range.
Stephenson became the first player in NBA history to score 20 points off the bench in the first quarter. According to Pacers reporter Pat Boylan, who noted that quarter-by-quarter statistics are only searchable for the 1996–97 season. they were too Most first quarter points by a fast bowler in the history of suffrage.
Stephenson entertained the Gainbridge Fieldhouse crowd with his signature air guitar 3-Point Celebration, and beat the first-quarter buzzer with another 3-point bomb to remove a jubilant shoulder shimmy. Maybe he’s got a little extra pleasure performing with his many fellow Brooklynites watching from home.
“I’ve been working for two years now, just waiting for this moment,” Stephenson said Wednesday during a halftime interview. “I’m so happy to be here at home.”
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Stephenson, who played six games with the Atlanta Hawks earlier this season after two full seasons away from the NBA, is currently in his third stint with the Pacers, the team that drafted him in 2010 with the 40th overall pick. Was. He averaged a career-high 13.8 points, 7.2 rebounds and 4.6 assists with Indiana during the 2013–14 season, while later stints with the Hornets, Clippers, Grizzlies, Pelicans, Timberwolves and Lakers.
Stephenson’s 10-day contract is set to expire soon, and if he continues to play like this, it will be very difficult for the pacers to loose him.