Duke basketball product joins exclusive list for the season

Duke basketball product Brandon Ingram (Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports)
Duke basketball product Brandon Ingram (Erik Williams-USA TODAY Sports) /

Two Duke basketball alums are among the NBA’s 40-point scorers this season.

Of the 11 NBA players who have scored 40 or more points in any game this season, now two are former Duke basketball one-and-dones: Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum and New Orleans Pelicans forward Brandon Ingram.

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The other nine on the list are Steph Curry (four times), Giannis Antetokounmpo (three times), Paul George (two times), Jaylen Brown, Anthony Edwards, Joel Embiid, Ja Morant, Trae Young, and Myles Turner.

Tatum joined the club four games into this 2021-22 campaign with a 41-point outing on the road in a win over the Charlotte Hornets. Then on Sunday night, Ingram became the latest to do so despite the Pelicans, who remain without the services of another Duke basketball product in Zion Williamson (fractured foot), losing at the lowly Houston Rockets, 118-108.

A highly productive Duke basketball product as of late

Brandon Ingram finished the bout against the Houston Rockets with 40 points, shooting 15-for-28 from the field, 3-for-10 beyond the arc, and 7-for-8 from the charity stripe. The sixth-year pro and former No. 2 overall draft pick also contributed five rebounds, four assists, one steal, and one block without committing a single turnover in his 38 minutes on the floor.

Across the past four-game stretch — New Orleans went 2-2 — Ingram has averaged 30.0 points, 5.5 rebounds, and 5.8 assists while shooting 54.1 percent overall, 38.1 percent from downtown, and 81.5 percent from the foul line. Now, the 24-year-old NBA Blue Devil has averaged 22.9 points, 6.2 rebounds, and 4.7 assists in his 19 appearances this season.

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Next up for the New Orleans Pelicans, who sit alone in last place in the Western Conference standings at 7-19 due to their dismal 1-12 start to the season, is a home game against the Denver Nuggets (11-11) at 8 p.m. ET Wednesday.