Former Wichita State and Kansas City high school basketball standout Landry Shamet had the finest game of his young NBA career on Tuesday night.
The Philadelphia 76ers rookie poured in a career-high 29 points and erased Allen Iverson’s franchise rookie record with eight three-pointers in the team’s 132-115 victory over the Washington Wizards on Tuesday.
Shamet’s eight three-pointers are a season-high for any rookie in the NBA this season and fell one shy of the NBA’s all-time rookie mark. He was just the 10th rookie in NBA history to make at least eight threes in a game.
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The performance made Shamet, who was selected by the 76ers with the No. 26 overall pick in last June’s NBA Draft, a social-media star for the night.
He was trending on Twitter. At one point during Shamet’s hot streak, 76ers star Joel Embiid came over and put his hand over Shamet’s forehead to check his temperature. Teammate T.J. McConnell was spotted fanning Shamet off on the bench to cool him down. After his career-best performance, Shamet was designated by coach Brett Brown to ring the team’s victory bell in the locker room.
“I was just shooting the ball, to be honest,” Shamet said during his on-court interview after the performance. “I wasn’t keeping track of where I was at. I got to 29 and my teammates started messing with me to get 30 or 40 or whatever. They’re telling me to keep shooting the ball and that’s what I was doing.”
Shamet capitalized on the absence of starter JJ Redick, as he came off the bench to make 8 of 15 shots, 5 of 5 free throws and score 29 points in 24 minutes.
Shamet’s heater came at the end of the third quarter. He already had canned four triples in the first half, but Shamet caught fire and made four straight threes in the final four minutes of the third quarter.
Through the halfway mark of his rookie season, Shamet is averaging 8.2 points, shooting 83 percent from the free-throw line and more importantly, drilling 40 percent of his three-pointers on 4.6 attempts per game in 20 minutes off the bench.
Shamet sold himself during the NBA Draft process as the best shooter in the rookie class and has backed up his claim. Shamet (75) only trails top-five pick Luka Doncic (92) of the Mavericks in three-pointers made by rookies this season and his 40-percent accuracy is the best in the NBA for a rookie.
Shamet averaged 14.9 points as a redshirt sophomore at Wichita State last season and made 44 percent of his threes, including 54-percent accuracy on spot-up looks, according to Synergy.
After the breakout performance, it reminded 76ers coach Brett Brown of Shamet’s pre-draft workout with the team with the team’s senior advisor to the head coach, Jim O’Brien, present.
“One of the things that Jim O’Brien spotted, I think in the first minute that we brought him into a gym and worked him out, was his ability to get a shot off quick,” Brown said. “There is no dip. He’s not trying to get hand position on the ball. He can receive a ball and shoot a ball at the level that he catches it. He doesn’t have to bring it down, or bring it over, or whatever. It really was one of the attractions when we watched him work out and it was coach O’Brien who was on it first.”
Shamet is making a strong case to be selected for the Rising Stars Challenge, an exhibition game during All-Star week between first- and second-year players divided onto Team USA and Team World. This year’s game is being held in Charlotte, N.C. on Friday, Feb. 15 with player selections made by NBA assistant coaches and announced in late January.