Duke basketball product scorches nets on way to career-high

Former Duke basketball guard RJ Barrett (Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports)
Former Duke basketball guard RJ Barrett (Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports) /
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Former Duke basketball star RJ Barrett has caught fire.

On Friday night, the New York Knicks fell at home to the Miami Heat, 115-100. But Duke basketball alum RJ Barrett is hardly to blame for his team’s fourth straight loss.

No, the third-year pro, who went No. 3 overall at the 2019 NBA Draft following a prolific one-and-done campaign, churned out 46 points. That marked both a season-high and career-high for Barrett.

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In addition to delivering the first 40-burger of his career — Barrett had scored 30 or more points on seven occasions before this outing — the 6-foot-6, 215-pound shooting guard grabbed nine rebounds and dished out two assists across his 38 minutes on the floor.

Barrett’s former Duke teammate and new Knicks sidekick, small forward Cam Reddish, logged 16 minutes off the bench and finished with eight points to go along with one assist and a steal.

A stellar feat from the Duke basketball product given his prolonged absence

Not only did RJ Barrett have to shake off the rust from the All-Star break, but it’s also worth noting the 21-year-old Canadian lefty missed his team’s previous four games while recovering from an ankle injury. Altogether, he hadn’t played in almost three weeks.

Plus, consider the Knicks listed him as “questionable” leading up to the bout against the Heat.

Still, Barrett somehow managed to find his hot hand, shooting 13-for-22 from the field, 6-for-11 from downtown, and 14-for-22 from the charity stripe.

RJ Barrett and the New York Knicks (25-35), now No. 12 in the Eastern Conference, return to action at 1 p.m. ET Sunday when they host the Philadelphia 76ers. The game will be on national TV (ABC).

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