Jerami Grant is building a strong case to become the first All-Star player for the Detroit Pistons since 2019.
The former Syracuse basketball forward continued his breakout season with a career-high 43 points in Wednesday’s 105-102 loss to the Chicago Bulls.
It’s the first 40-point game of Grant’s career and the sixth time this season he’s either tied or recorded a new scoring feat.
Grant exploded for a 19-point fourth quarter against the Bulls and finished 15-of-25 shooting, 4-for-9 from 3 and a perfect 9-of-9 from the free throw line.
The Bulls trailed by as many as 25 points but battled back in the second half, powered by a 37-point performance by Zach Lavine. Grant had a chance to bring the Pistons within one, but missed a turnaround 3-pointer with almost 12 seconds left in the game.
Detroit had an opportunity to tie the game with a triple on the following possession. However, instead of looking for the guy with the hot hand, Pistons guard Delon Wright kept the ball for himself and misfired on a 3 from the top of the key.In his seventh season, Grant is averaging 23.8 points, 5.3 rebounds, 2.9 assists (all career-highs) and 1.2 blocks per game. Those numbers have earned him a total of 282,605 All-Star votes in the latest returns — ranking 10th among frontcourt players in the Eastern Conference.
Grant likely won’t earn enough votes to become an All-Star starter but coaches around the league could vote him in as a reserve. He would become the first Piston named an All-Star since Blake Griffin earned a nod two years ago, if selected.
Before this season, the most points Grant had scored in an NBA game was 29 points with the Denver Nuggets last year. He’s reached the 20-point mark in 20 of his first 24 games in his newfound role as the go-to guy on offense with the Pistons.
Denver and Detroit both offered Grant a $60 million contract over three-years before the start of the season. But Grant wanted a better opportunity to showcase his offensive talents outside of rebounding and defending.
That decision to bet on himself is paying off big time.