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Holly MacKenzie

Around the NBA: Nik Stauskas lights up the scoreboard and earns a contract with the Celtics



Mar 7, 2022

To say that Nik Stauskas has had a big week would be a bit of an understatement.

The 28-year-old Mississauga native signed a two-year contract with the Boston Celtics this week after lighting up the scoreboard with the NBA G League’s Grand Rapid Golds, dropping a 57-point explosion on Tuesday and then following that up with a 43-point performance on Wednesday, not even 24 hours later.

Stauskas shot 11-for-15 from deep in Tuesday’s game, finishing 20-for-20 from the floor in 43 minutes. On Wednesday, in a 124-119 victory for Grand Rapids over the Lakeland Magic, his 43 points came on 16-of-21 shooting, including nine threes on 13 attempts.

It has been a rollercoaster of a journey for Stauskas over the past few years. After a 10-day with the Miami Heat earlier this season when he was signed to help the team weather a shortened roster due to health and safety protocols, Stauskas had been using the G League as a platform to show what he can do and why he should be signed to an NBA roster. Prior to his 10-day contract with the Heat, Stauskas last played in the NBA in 2019 with the Cavaliers.

In Oklahoma City, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander continues to put up huge numbers for the Thunder. Since returning to the court following an ankle injury, Gilgeous-Alexander has averaged 33.3 points, 6.0 rebounds, 6.6 assists and 2.2 steals while shooting 57 percent in his last six games.

After his recent spree of 30-point games, Gilgeous-Alexander now holds the record for most 30-point games by a Canadian in a single NBA season with 15, passing Andrew Wiggins (14).Still just 23-years-old, Gilgeous-Alexander is averaging a career-best 24.0 points to go along with 4.9 rebounds, 5.6 assists and 1.2 steals per game in his fourth NBA season.

While Gilgeous-Alexander’s Thunder teammate Lu Dort has been sidelined with a shoulder injury, he still made a fashionable entrance at a recent Thunder game against the Sacramento Kings. Dort showed off his hometown pride, wearing the Montreal Canadiens Black history month edition jersey.

Back in New York, RJ Barrett had 24 points, nine rebounds and four assists in a 116-93 Knicks victory against the Los Angeles Clippers. Via Stamuse, Barrett is averaging 24.4 points and 6.2 rebounds over his past 20 games. He’s also shooting 38 percent from beyond the arc on 6.1 attempts in those games.

In Dallas, Dwight Powell helped the Mavericks to a huge 122-113 victory against the Golden State Warriors on Thursday. Powell had 13 points, eight rebounds and two assists in the victory. The Mavericks have won four straight and 10 of their last 12 games and are currently fifth in the Western Conference with a 39-25 record. Powell is averaging 7.6 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.1 assists in his eighth NBA season.

Heading back to the Eastern Conference, Chris Boucher had a 21-point, seven-rebound performance in a 104-96 Raptors loss to the Cleveland Cavaliers on Sunday. Teammate Khem Birch had 11 points and five rebounds in a 109-108 nail-biter of a victory against the Brooklyn Nets on Tuesday.

As teams begin their final playoff pushes of the season with less than 20 regular season games left in their schedules, expect more highlight-reel plays and plenty of excitement from Canadians all over the league in the weeks to come.