One of the most intriguing regular seasons in NBA history has reached a conclusion, and it ended with a bang for one former Syracuse player.
Indiana Pacers forward Oshae Brissett scored a career-high 31 points on Sunday, going 10-of-16 from the field and 5-for-8 from 3-point range, while also grabbing 10 rebounds in a 125-113 win over the Toronto Raptors.
The feat was special not just because it was the most points he’s ever totaled in an NBA game but because the performance came against the team that released him in December.
Brissett is averaging 10.9 points and 5.5 rebounds, with shooting percentages of 48.3% from the field and 42.3% from beyond the 3-point arc through 21 games since joining the Pacers in March.
The franchise signed Brissett to a three-year contract after he proved himself during two 10-day contracts with the team.
The Pacers are locked into the No. 9 seed in the Eastern Conference and will play the Charlotte Hornets on Tuesday in the first round of the 2021 NBA play-in tournament. The loser will be eliminated from playoff contention, while the winner will advance to play the loser of the Boston Celtics-Washington Wizards matchup for a chance at the No. 8 seed and final playoff berth.
Brissett is one of five former Syracuse players that are currently on NBA rosters this season — three of which could have an opportunity to compete for an NBA championship when the playoffs begin next week.
Carmelo Anthony, who’s ascended into the top 10 on the NBA’s all-time leading scorers list, totaled 14 points, two rebounds and three assists in the Portland Trail Blazers’ 132-116 win over the Denver Nuggets on Sunday. With the win, the Blazers secured the No. 6 seed in the Western Conference and avoided the play-in tournament.
Former Orange forward Jerami Grant did not play in the Detroit Pistons’ regular-season finale against the Miami Heat because of a knee injury.
He’s played in only one game since April 29, but his breakout season with Detroit can be viewed as a success after averaging a career-high 22.3 points to go along with 4.6 rebounds, 2.8 assists and 1.1 blocks. However, the Pistons (20-52) finished 15th in the Eastern Conference and did not qualify for the playoffs.
Orlando Magic point guard Michael Carter-Williams only played in 31 games this season due to an ankle injury. He totaled 8.8 points, 4.2 rebounds and 4.4 assists per game. The 14th-seeded Magic finished slightly ahead of the Pistons but will also miss the postseason.
The Jazz is the No. 1 seed in the Western Conference after going 52-20 throughout the regular season and will face the No. 8 seed when the playoffs begin.
Former Syracuse guard Elijah Hughes has only appeared in 18 games for the Jazz this season, spending the majority of his time in the G-League with the Salt Lake City Stars. He averaged 1.7 points as a rookie.