Former Syracuse star Elijah Hughes made his first career NBA start on Friday night, going off for 26 points in Utah’s 122-108 loss to the Toronto Raptors.
Hughes made 9 of 15 shots (7-for-12 on 3-pointers) and also grabbed eight rebounds, four assists and two steals in 41 minutes. In nine appearances this season, it was Hughes’ first opportunity with more than five minutes and it was his first NBA opportunity seeing more than eight minutes of playing time.
The Jazz were extremely short-handed with multiple players in COVID-related protocols (Rudy Gobert and Joe Ingles), and others out due to injury (Donovan Mitchell, Mike Conley, Bojan Bogdanovic, Rudy Gary and Jordan Clarkson). The Jazz currently rank third in the Western Conference.
Still, Hughes has done his part to try to force his way into the conversation. He has played well in the G-League with the Salt Lake Stars, averaging 18.3 points in nine games and shooting 37.2 percent from the 3-point line.
Hughes is in his second NBA season after being drafted in the second round of the 2020 NBA Draft.
In other Syracuse-related NBA highlights, former Syracuse forward Oshae Brissett crossed the threshold of the season where his contract became guaranteed through rest of the season with the Indiana Pacers, ensuring he will earn all of his $1.7 million deal. The Pacers own an option on next season worth $1.8 million.
Brissett, in his third NBA season, is averaging 6.2 points in 28 appearances with Indiana. He’s shooting 51.9 percent from the field and 37.1 from the 3-point line. He’s seeing regular playing time, averaging 17.8 minutes in 28 appearances. Indiana sits on the outside of the Eastern Conference playoff picture in 11th place.
Hughes and Brissett are two of five former Syracuse players in the NBA this season, joining Carmelo Anthony Jerami Grant and Michael Carter-Williams. B.J. Johnson has also seen NBA action this year but is not currently on an active roster.
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