When you’re hot, you’re hot.
Wednesday night’s NBA action delivered two of the most gruesome temperature checks of the season as Lance Stephenson and Kelly Oubre Jr both brought flamethrowers into their respective games.
Stephenson finished with 30 points in the Indiana Pacers’ 129-121 loss to the Brooklyn Nets, while Oubre Jr scored 32 points in the Charlotte Hornets’ 140-110 win over the Detroit Pistons.
Both players came on from the bench to drop 30+ but it was the way they got there that stole the headlines.
So without further ado, let’s dive into Sporting News’ JR Smith Heat Test award (I just did this).
Lance makes them dance!
On a night that was supposed to kick off Kyrie Irving’s season for the Brooklyn Nets, only Lance Stephenson was able to show up and flip the script completely, stepping out of the gate over a fireplace!
After two years out of the league, Stephenson returned to the NBA roster through the G League, first earning a 10-day contract with the Atlanta Hawks, before returning to the Indiana Pacers with a second 10-day deal.
In his third game for the Pacers and his first comeback at Gainbridge Fieldhouse, Stephenson rocked the building, dropping 20 points in the first quarter shooting 8/9 and 4/5 from the deep.
The last time he scored 20 goals in a single game was in 2018-19. Tonight he made it in a quarter.
According to statistics, Stephenson’s first-quarter 20 points is the most points scored in a half in six minutes or less, since Kemba Walker scored 18 in 2017.
Stephenson finished the game with 30 points, 5 assists and 3 rebounds in 12/19 from the field and 4/8 from the 3-pointer line in 32 minutes of play.
Oubre .’s fourth quarter fire
Meanwhile, in Charlotte Kelly Oubre Jr. can’t miss.
He opened the final with four consecutive triples and finished with eight triples in the fourth quarter, just short of Klay Thompson’s record for most thirds in a single inning, in the opening game by 37 points. his in 2016 against the Sacramento Kings.
Oubre’s third eight ties with Michael Redd, Joe Johnson and Kevin Love for an unprecedented second in a quarter, according to NBA Statistics
Thanks to the Hornets announcers for their hard work up until this point.
Oubre finished with a career-high 9 3-pointers after 14 attempts to finish with 32 points overnight, adding 6 rebounds.
He scored 24 of his 32 goals in the final goal – all coming from outside the arc.
Verdict: Lance wins W (2-1)
Benyam Kidane (Benyam Kidane): I have to go with Lance. In 10 days, for the Pacers, play against one of the strongest teams in the league. Long live Lance!
Nick Metallinos (@NickMetallinos): Lance Stephenson had a better heat test game. In typical Lance fashion – he’s hot or cold – he’s scorched Brooklyn. Not bad for a struggling guy.
Yash Matange (@ yashmatange2694): I will be Kelly Oubre Jr. For a player, he averaged 1.4 shots every three seconds in his career, shooting eight shots in one half. We always knew Lance Stephenson was capable of heat testing in this one game but Oubre Jr actually did a better heat test on Wednesday.