Former Louisville star Russ Smith pumped in 47 points to lead the Fujian Sturgeons past the Sichuan Blue Whales 105-103 in the Chinese Basketball Association.
The 6-0 guard sank 3 threes, while shooting 53 percent (9-of-17) from two-point range and going 20-of-21 from the line.
Smith also had 9 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals in the game.
For Sichuan, Jamaal Franklin (San Diego St.) had 22 points, 10 rebounds, and 9 assists in the loss.
But the star of the game was Smith, who is fourth in the CBA in scoring this season and fifth in assists, averaging 35.3 points, 7.1 rebounds, and 6.4 dimes for Fujian.
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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