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Duke in the NBA: Kennard breaks 3-point record, Tatum and Ingram fight for playoff spots

Luke Kennard set a Grizzlies' record with 10 3-pointers March 24.
Luke Kennard set a Grizzlies' record with 10 3-pointers March 24.

As the NBA regular season comes to a close, former Blue Devils are helping their teams fight for the playoffs. The Blue Zone takes a look at recent standouts:

Luke Kennard sets Memphis franchise record 

The prolific sharpshooter Luke Kennard made it rain from deep in the Memphis Grizzlies' win against the Houston Rockets March 24. “Cool Hand Luke” knocked down 10-of-11 looks from downtown in just 24 minutes of play, breaking the Grizzlies' single-game franchise record. Shooting at a consistent 48.9% clip, the Duke product leads the NBA in 3-point percentage. His efficient shooting and playmaking off the bench helped the Grizzlies ride a seven-game winning streak in March.

Jayson Tatum shines, Celtics clinch playoff berth

Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum is showing no signs of slowing down as he and his team approach the postseason. Averaging 31.2 points, 9.6 rebounds and 4.3 assists per game in March, the four-time All-Star and Duke alumnus helped the Celtics to clinch a spot in the 2023 NBA playoffs. Just three games behind the first-seeded Milwaukee Bucks, Tatum will look to overtake the Bucks at the top of the conference in the remaining games of the season. 

Paolo Banchero maintains top spot on Rookie of the Year ladder

Since the start of the season, there has been no doubt about why Paolo Banchero was selected first overall in the 2022 NBA draft; equipped with an NBA-ready frame and elite athleticism, the former Blue Devil is a juggernaut on the offensive end. 

Despite his shooting slump in February, Banchero has found other ways to contribute to the Magic: Namely, his top-notch rebounding and improved playmaking. The 20-year-old is logging 20 points, 6.8 rebounds and 3.7 assists per game this season. Numbers don’t lie, and there still doesn’t appear to be a noteworthy threat to Banchero winning the Rookie of the Year award. 

Brandon Ingram keeps Pelicans’ playoffs hopes alive 

As it stands, there’s no telling which teams will secure a spot in the NBA playoffs in the Western Conference: The fourth-seeded Phoenix Suns are just 4.5 games above the 11th-seeded Dallas Mavericks. As such, every win or loss drastically impacts where a team is in the standings and its likelihood of advancing to the postseason. When it has mattered the most, Brandom Ingram has delivered for the New Orleans Pelicans. 

In the month of March, the North Carolina native has been red hot, sinking 52.8% of his field-goal attempts. He is also putting up 27.1 points, 5.7 rebounds and 7.2 assists per game. Thanks to his impressive offensive production, the Pelicans went on a five-game winning streak and steadily climbed up the standings. 


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