Deng sets Heat franchise record for points scored in an NBA Playoffs debut

Last night Great Britain and Miami Heat forward Luol Deng made his NBA Playoffs debut for the Miami Heat as they defeated the Charlotte Hornets 123-91 to take a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.

Two-time NBA All-Star Deng scored 31 points on 11-for-13 shooting, setting a franchise record for points scored in an NBA Playoffs debut.

Speaking after the game Deng said: “I haven’t been in the Playoffs for two years. The excitement, the atmosphere was great. If you’re not ready to play in a game like that, then you don’t really love the game. I appreciate the fact that I’m back in [the postseason].”

Miami Heat Head Coach Erik Spoelstra said: “He’s an experienced veteran player who’s had playoff experience, who wants to make winning plays. He wants to help a team. That will be different things, different nights. I think he’s emotionally stable enough to understand that it doesn’t have to be four 3s, 31 points. It might be a charge, 12 rebounds, a tough defensive assignment.”

Three-time NBA Champion and Miami Heat teammate Dwyane Wade said: “I think I just started liking him like two months ago, playing against him so many times in Chicago. Especially since Chris [Bosh] went down, he’s been phenomenal for us, really playing a new position. A night like tonight, to score 31 points and everything is in the flow of the offense. He’s really reading the game well.”

Watch the NBA Playoffs live on BT Sport or via NBA League Pass (www.nba.tv)

Source: Pitch London
Image: and NBA E/Getty Images