When you are hot, you are hot.
Wednesday night’s NBA action delivered two of the most outrageous heat control performances of the season, as Lance Stephenson and Kelly Oubre Jr. both brought the flamethrower to their respective games.
Stephenson finished with 30 points in the Indiana Pacers ‘129-121 loss to the Brooklyn Nets, while Oubre Jr. added 32 points in the Charlotte Hornets’ 140-110 victory over the Detroit Pistons.
Both players came off the bench to lose over 30, but it’s the way they got there that stole the headlines.
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So without further ado, let’s dive into Sporting News’ JR Smith Heat Check award (just made it up).
Lance makes them dance!
On a night that was supposed to be about Kyrie Irving’s season debut for the Brooklyn Nets, only Lance Stephenson was able to go out and completely change the script, walking out the doors on a heater!
After two years out of the league, Stephenson worked his way back to an NBA roster through the G League, first winning a 10-day contract with the Atlanta Hawks, before returning to the Indiana Pacers for a second. 10 day contract.
In his third game for the Pacers and his first comeback at Gainbridge Fieldhouse, Stephenson rocked the building, losing 20 points in the first quarter on 8 of 9 shooting and 4 of 5 from deep.
4-5 from the deep.
In a quarter.
Spear. Stephenson. 🤯 pic.twitter.com/kaNyZvlniZ
– NBA (@NBA) January 6, 2023
The last time he scored 20 in a game was in 2018-19. Tonight he did it in a room.
According to StatMuse, Stephenson’s 20 points in the first quarter are the most points scored in a single quarter in six minutes or less since Kemba Walker scored 18 in 2017.
Stephenson finished the game with 30 points, five assists and three rebounds on 12 of 19 from the field and 4 of 8 from 3-point range in 32 minutes of action.
The fire of the fourth quarter of Oubre
Meanwhile, Charlotte Kelly Oubre Jr. just couldn’t fail.
He opened the final draw with four straight triples and finished with eight triples in the fourth quarter, just shy of Klay Thompson’s record for most triples in a single quarter that came in his 37-point outburst in 2016 against the Sacramento Kings.
Oubre’s eight 3s tie Michael Redd, Joe Johnson and Kevin Love for second-highest in a quarter, according to NBA statistics
Shout out to the Hornets announcers for always being up to the task.
KELLY OUBRE JR. IT IS ABSOLUTELY ON FIRE.
He has 8 triples in the quarter … one of the all-time record for a single quarter.
3:30 left in League Pass: https://t.co/L8Rrlv9ZoR pic.twitter.com/c5N7rzG6UF
– NBA (@NBA) January 6, 2023
Oubre finished with nine 3s in 14 attempts to finish with 32 points on the night, adding six rebounds.
He scored 24 of his 32 in the final frame, all coming from beyond the arc.
Verdict: Lance wins W (2-1)
Benyam Kidane (BenyamKidane): I have to go with Lance. In a round of 10, for the Pacers, against one of the best teams in the league. Long live Lance!
Nick Metallinos (@NickMetallinos): Lance Stephenson had the best heat control game. In typical Lance fashion, either hot or cold, he was blazing against Brooklyn. Not bad for a struggling guy.
Yash Matange (@ yashmatange2694): I go to Kelly Oubre Jr. for a single player, who averages 1.4 3-pointers per game for his 8-point shooting career in a quarter. We always knew Lance Stephenson was capable of these one-game heat controls, but Oubre Jr. really did achieve the best heat control on Wednesday.