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Duke in the NBA: Okafor makes home debut for Brooklyn, Ingram quietly solid for Los Angeles

<p>Jahlil Okafor is hoping to reach the same level of success in the NBA as he did at Duke.</p>

Jahlil Okafor is hoping to reach the same level of success in the NBA as he did at Duke.

The Blue Zone recaps how some former Blue Devils are doing in the NBA: 

Brandon Ingram, Los Angeles Lakers 

With the spotlight shining bright on Lonzo Ball, Ingram has quietly emerged as a budding star for the Lakers. The Lakers have lost eight straight and are last in the Western Conference, but it hasn't been of Ingram's doing. He sat out games Dec. 23 and 25 with a quad injury, but exploded for 23 points against Memphis in his return and has averaged almost 15 points in three games since. Ingram has nearly doubled his points per game from his disappointing rookie season, averaging 16.1 per game while upping his shooting percentage to 44.4 percent.

Jahlil Okafor, Brooklyn Nets

Since being traded to the Brooklyn Nets Dec. 7, Okafor has played just twice, scoring 10 points in 23 minutes in a blowout at Toronto Dec. 15 while trying to adjust to the Nets' system and returning to score two points in his home debut Wednesday. He is coming into a system that relies heavily on the 3-ball and has had to change his game and improve his conditioning

Kyrie Irving, Boston Celtics

Irving continued his dominant ways, averaging nearly 27 points per game in December to keep Boston in the Eastern Conference's pole position. He scored 26 points Dec. 28 to lead Boston to a wild 26-point comeback win against Houston. Irving got redemption against his old team, the Cleveland Cavaliers—which beat the Celtics 102-99 to open the season—Wednesday night in a 102-88 win, scoring 11 points with six assists and nine rebounds. 

Jayson Tatum, Boston Celtics

Tatum has been a remarkably consistent offensive weapon for the Celtics as of late alongside Irving, scoring in double digits in nine of his last 10 games. His one blip on the radar was a disappointing outing on New Year's Eve against Brooklyn in which he shot just 28.6 percent from the field. He had a more effective outing Wednesday against the Cavaliers with 15 points.

Luke Kennard, Detroit Pistons

Kennard had a season and career-high 20 points in Detroit’s win against San Antonio to end 2017, when he shot 58.3 percent from the field and 80.0 percent from the 3-point line. As the season has dragged on, Kennard has seen more steady playing time, generally playing a bit under 20 minutes per game. Detroit has kept up its surprising start, still sitting at the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference. 

Austin Rivers, Los Angeles Clippers

Rivers exploded for 36 and 38 points in back-to-back nights against the Rockets and Grizzlies Dec. 22 and 23, respectively, but combined for just 21 in his next two before going down with an Achilles injury. Rivers sat for the second straight game Tuesday and the Clippers are uncertain as to when he will return, according to the Los Angeles Times.  


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