On Friday, Houston Rockets rookie forward Jabari Smith Jr. became the second-youngest NBA player to record 27 points, eight rebounds, and three blocks in a single game since Kevin Durant on December 7, 2007.
In Houston’s 139-114 loss against the Sacramento Kings, the Auburn product logged a season-high 27 points, eight boards, one assist, and three blocks in 35 minutes as a starter. He also shot 11-of-20 (55%) from the floor and knocked down two 3-pointers. Smith was 19 years, 245 days old.
Per a few NBA betting sites, Jabari Smith Jr. possesses the fourth-best odds to win Rookie of the Year. Check out which sportsbooks are giving Paolo Banchero, Bennedict Mathurin, and Jaden Ivey better odds.
The entire list of teenagers to do this, via @Stathead.
Great company for Jabari to be in. pic.twitter.com/VA9N1mOT9K
— Bradeaux (@BradeauxNBA) January 15, 2023
With the Seattle SuperSonics, in a 104-98 win over the Milwaukee Bucks on December 7, 2007, Kevin Durant posted 35 points, eight rebounds, one assist, and five blocks in 40 minutes of action. He shot 9-of-20 (45%) from the field and made two 3s as well. At the time, the Seattle rookie was 19 years, 200 days old.
Hall of Famer Kevin Garnett dropped down to third on the list. On March 27, 1996, in the Minnesota Timberwolves’ 121-116 win versus the Boston Celtics, the rookie wing recorded 33 points, eight boards, four assists, one steal, and three blocks in 43 minutes. Plus, Garnett shot 14-of-21 (66.7%) from the floor.
Rockets rookie Jabari Smith Jr. is the second-youngest NBA player (19 years, 245 days old) to record 27 points, eight rebounds, and three blocks in a single game
Through 42 starts of his rookie season, Smith is averaging 12.1 points and seven rebounds per game. Not to mention, the rookie is shooting 38.9% from the field, 31.7% outside the arc, and 80% at the foul line. The Georgia native has logged seven double-doubles so far this season.
Jabari Smith Jr. was selected third overall by the Rockets in the 2022 NBA Draft. During his freshman 2021-22 season at Auburn, the wing averaged 16.9 points, 7.4 boards, 2.0 assists, 1.1 steals, and 1.0 block per game through 34 starts.
Bari brought the hustle tonight
— Houston Rockets (@HoustonRockets) January 14, 2023
To add to these stats, he shot 42.9% from the floor and 42% beyond the arc. Smith was selected to the SEC All-Freshman First Team and SEC All-Freshman Team.
Then, he went on to win SEC Freshman of the Year and NABC Freshman of the Year. His level of success in college has not yet carried over to the NBA. However, he’s still having a decent season with Houston.
While the Rockets are 10-33 and rank dead last in the Western Conference standings, Jabari Smith Jr. was proud of his career night on Friday. “Just my teammates trusting me,” the rookie said on what motivated him against Sacramento. “Me trying to get to the basket more and trying to expand my game a little bit.”