Former Louisville star Russ Smith poured in 43 points for the Fujian Sturgeons in a 117-110 loss to the Beijing Ducks in the Chinese Basketball Association.
The 6-0 guard shot a blistering 67 percent (14-of-21) from two-point range while sinking 9-of-10 from the line.
Smith also had 8 assists, 8 rebounds, and 3 steals in the game.
Mike Harris (Rice) added 14 points with 12 rebounds for Fujian in the loss.
For Beijing, Justin Hamilton (LSU) had 31 points and 15 rebounds in the win.
But the star of the game was Smith, who is fourth in the CBA in scoring this season, averaging 36.9 points, 7.9 rebounds, and 5.3 assists.
Smith comes from the China NBL, where he averaged an eye-popping 61.2 points a game this season for Luoyang, along with 7.9 rebounds, 5.6 assists, and a whopping 4.1 steals.
For his historic performance, Smith was named the China NBL’s Player of the Year and believes he deserves another shot at the NBA.
“I really think it’s BS that I’m not on an NBA roster, to say the least,” Smith told USA Today. “There’s no way that I can look 30 teams in the NBA, in the states, and I can go, ‘All 13 guys on this roster is better than me.’ I can’t believe that.”
He played in the NBA G League last season, where he was sixth in steals, averaging 17.1 points, 6.2 assists, and 2 thefts for the Delaware 87ers.
In March, Smith poured in a NBADL record 65 points in a 140-129 loss to the Canton Charge, breaking the old mark of 61 points set by 87ers teammate Jordan McRae back in January.
He also played part of the year with Galatasaray in Turkey’s BSL league.
A college star at Louisville, Smith was the team’s top scorer as a junior in 2012-13, averaging 18.7 points a game while leading the Cardinals to a 35-5 record and the NCAA national championship.
He was also an All-Big East First Team selection and Ken Pomeroy’s National Player of the Year that season.
The 47th pick in the 2014 Draft by Philadelphia, Smith has played parts of two NBA seasons with the Pelicans and Grizzlies.
A New York City school boy legend at Archbishop Molloy HS (Queens, NY), Smith averaged 29.6 points and 7.3 rebounds as a senior, leading the New York City Catholic league (CHSAA) in scoring for the second straight season.
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