Lance Stephenson, who played one season for the University of Cincinnati Bearcats before leaving for the NBA, came off the bench to score 20 consecutive points for the Indiana Pacers during the first quarter of Wednesday night’s loss to the Brooklyn Nets.
Stephenson, who finished the game with 30 points, was called up last month to the Atlanta Hawks from the NBA G League on a 10-day hardship deal, which allows teams an extra roster spot when multiple players are out because of injury or illness. On Jan. 1, the Pacers announced they signed Stephenson to a 10-day contract under the same COVID-related hardship exception.
Before the Hawks signed him, Stephenson had last played in the NBA for the Los Angeles Lakers during the 2018-19 season.
Stephenson is one of seven players from Xavier, UC or Greater Cincinnati high schools currently on NBA rosters.
Reactions to Stephenson’s remarkable first quarter:
Stephenson, 31, was selected 13th overall by the Grand Rapids Gold – the Denver Nuggets’ G League affiliate – in the G League draft last October. He played for China’s Liaoning Flying Leopards in 2019 and 2020.
In March 2020, Stephenson reportedly was in “strong talks” about a potential deal with the Pacers. Stephenson played for the Pacers from 2010 to 2014 and again in 2017 and 2018.
Stephenson averaged 12.3 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game in 34 games for UC during the 2009-10 season.
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This article originally appeared on Cincinnati Enquirer: Lance Stephenson scores 20 points for Indiana Pacers in first quarter