Duke basketball: NBA Blue Devil enters All-Star Weekend on fire

Duke basketball guard Luke Kennard (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images)
Duke basketball guard Luke Kennard (Photo by Lance King/Getty Images) /

Duke basketball alum Luke Kennard is a bonafide flamethrower right now. 

As a first-time participant in the MTN DEW 3-Point Contest, which takes place at 8 p.m. ET Saturday in Cleveland, Los Angeles Clippers shooting guard Luke Kennard couldn’t have picked a better time to catch fire from downtown. The former Duke basketball two-and-done, who went No. 12 overall at the 2017 NBA Draft and is now in his second season with the Clippers, is sizzling.

On Thursday night, in the squad’s final game before the All-Star break, Kennard tallied a career-high eight splashes beyond the arc. And he needed only nine attempts.

Kennard led the bench attack in the contest, a 142-111 demolition of the Houston Rockets in Los Angeles, finishing with 25 points, three assists, and two steals across only 23 minutes on the floor.

Two nights earlier, Kennard went 3-for-4 from 3-point land in a road loss to the Phoenix Suns. Between his past five outings, the 25-year-old has shot a combined 15-for-21 from long range and 19-for-32 from the field.

As a result of his recent flamethrowing stretch, Kennard is shooting a career-high 44.8 percent beyond the arc, trailing only the 45.0 percent from PJ Tucker. Now, the 3-point specialist is averaging 11.8 points, 3.5 rebounds, and 2.3 assists in 27.8 minutes per game for the Clippers, who sit No. 8 in the Western Conference standings at 30-31 overall.

A second Duke basketball winner on the 3-point stage?

Seven players will vie against Luke Kennard for the weekend’s 3-point crown. The other entrants are Desmond Bane, CJ McCollum, Patty Mills, Zach LaVine, Karl-Anthony Towns, Fred VanVleet, and Trae Young.

Although a few of the above names are not first-timers, none have ever taken home the hardware from the event.

With that in mind, not to mention the recent shooting clips from the Clipper lefty, one would think Luke Kennard has as good a shot as any to be the 2022 champ. Should he come out on top, he would be the second NBA Blue Devil ever to do so, joining Kyrie Irving (2013).

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