The NBA named Hawks forward Taurean Prince to the Rising Stars game as an injury replacement. Before playing the Celtics on Friday, Prince said was glad for that, but thought the league’s assistant coaches should have voted him to the All-Star weekend showcase in the first place.
Then Prince went out and scored a career-high 31 points in a 119-110 loss to the Celtics. He said it was no coincidence that his superlative performance followed the Rising Stars news.
“It brought a little juice to me tonight because of that,” Prince said. “I was kind of excited (and) kind of relieved. I feel like I did enough work this summer to be in the game from the jump, but God had his own route.”
Prince will join Hawks rookie John Collins in the Rising Stars game, which features rookies and second-year players. They are on the U.S. team that will face a squad of international players.
Prince needed only 17 shots to eclipse the 30 points he scored at Toronto in December. Prince made 5 of 9 three pointers and all eight of his free-throw attempts.
Prince scored 13 consecutive points early in the fourth quarter to help trim Boston’s 19-point lead to 103-93.
“He had a confidence tonight, had a pop,” Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer said. “It’s really good to see him play the way he did (and) as aggressive as he was. Proud of him being named to the Rising Stars game, he and John both. I think it’s a bright spot for our group, and I’m proud of both of those guys.”