It was just what the doctor ordered for the Portland Trail Blazers Tuesday night against a depleted Indiana Pacers squad.
Yes, a get-right game was needed.
But a heat-check three was one of the biggest storylines of the night.
In Portland’s 133-112 drubbing of the shorthanded Indiana Pacers, it was third-year guard Anfernee Simons who stole the show, as the Blazers snapped a five-game skid.
With the Pacers giving so much attention to Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, as is normally the case, Simons took advantage of open looks from three.
But he didn’t just hit the open looks. It didn’t matter how well he was defended, Simons was knocking it down.
Simons notched a season-high 27 points on 9-of-13 shooting, including an elite 9-for-10 from deep.
While hitting his seventh-straight three, the 21-year-old tied a franchise record.
Terry Porter went a perfect 7-for-7 in a single game in 1992 to hold the team record of most threes made without a miss.
But Simons was a man on a mission Tuesday.
“That first three I made in the second half, I knew it was going to be a good night for me,” Simons said.
That was his fifth-consecutive three-pointer.
On the season, Simons is shooting an efficient 42.4 percent from behind the arc.
In Tuesday’s win, Portland went a whopping 20-for-35 from three with big help from Simons.
And even though the No. 24 pick out of the 2018 draft didn’t hit his 10th-straight three in Tuesday’s win to tie an NBA record, he had this to say about his heat-check attempt with 10:16 remaining in the game, “I was just testing how hot I was."
Even though there was no NBA record for Simons, Damian Lillard believes the performance could be a huge game to build off of for the young guard.
“When he gets in those positions, I’m just always trying to encourage him to keep going, don’t be shy,” Lillard said. “The level of talent that you have, and the ceiling that he has, we’ve got to allow him to grow into that and I think moments like tonight play into that.”
And as Simons continues to grow, the Blazers will look to keep the momentum going as they visit the Memphis Grizzlies Wednesday.