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Ron Harper Jr. scores game high 19 points in NBA Summer League



Photo credit Rutgers Athletics

Former Rutgers star Ron Harper Jr. continued his strong play at the NBA Summer League for the Toronto Raptors on Thursday. One night after a breakout fourth quarter, Harper Jr. scored a game high 19 points in a 99-94 overtime loss to the Brooklyn Nets.

Harper Jr. shot 5 of 13 from the floor, 0 of 3 from three-point range and an impressive 9 of 10 from the foul line. He added 3 assists, 2 rebounds, 1 steal and 1 block in 32 minutes.

Playing on back to back nights, Harper Jr.’s big performance came after catching fire in the fourth quarter on Wednesday. After starting just 1 of 7 from the floor through three quarters, he exploded with two dunks and a driving layup in the first minute and a half. The posterizing dunk lit a spark for Harper Jr. He scored three baskets on three straight possessions followed by making four straight free throws. He finished with 12 points, 7 rebounds, 1 steal and 1 block in 33 minutes.

Through four NBA Summer League games, Harper Jr.  is averaging 12.0 points, 4.5 rebounds, 2.0 assists, 1.0 steal and 0.8 blocks per game. He is shooting 35.8% from the floor, 48.0% from two-point range (12-25), 16.7% from three-point range (3-18), and an impressive 93.8% from the foul line in making 15 of 16 attempts.

Harper Jr. is currently on a two-way deal with the Raptors with the hopes of making the NBA roster this fall. He was recently made a restricted free agent after receiving a tendered qualifying offer from Toronto.  Other NBA teams can make offers to Harper Jr. after the summer league but the Raptors have the option to match.

In his first professional season as a two-player for the Toronto Raptors this past year, Harper Jr. averaged 17.1 points. 5.3 rebounds, and 4.1 assists in 29 regular season games. He shot 50% from the field, 62.8% from two-point range and 36% from 3-point range for the Raptors 905. Harper Jr. produced a triple-double in March in the G League before scoring 10 points in for the Raptors on the final day of the NBA regular season.

His aggressiveness and physicality spurred his strong play on Thursday night. Finding a role for the Raptors is key to sticking with the organization. While his three-point shooting has been off, Harper Jr. continues to grind and produce like he did at Rutgers. The final NBA Summer League game for the Raptors and the former Rutgers star is on Saturday at 3 pm ET against the Golden State Warriors on ESPN.

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1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. FlaRef

    July 14, 2023 at 9:40 am

    That was a run and gun rookie league this summer. His lack of a three point shot may hurt his chances to stick with Toronto. Like the way he uses his body and free throws are on target. Hope he does well and gets his shot at the NBA!

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