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Sooners in the NBA: Trae Young takes on former Norman North teammate Lindy Waters III in Hawks vs Thunder

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Trae Young and Lindy Waters III

Former OU basketball player Trae Young talks with former high school teammate and Oklahoma City Thunder player Lindy Waters III after the game between the Atlanta Hawks and the Thunder on March 30.

Four Former Sooners participated in NBA action during the week of March 26-April 1.

Atlanta Hawks guard Trae Young returned home and played against his former Norman North teammate, while Indiana Pacers guard Buddy Hield posted a pair of 20-point performances. 

Los Angeles Lakers rookie guard Austin Reaves was moved back to the bench and Brooklyn Nets forward Blake Griffin continues to sit on the sidelines.

In terms of NBA standings, Griffin’s Nets (40-37) and Young’s Hawks (40-37) are still fighting for positioning in the Play-In Tournament, as are  Reaves’ Lakers (31-46), who are a game back from the 10th seed. Meanwhile, Hield’s Pacers (25-53) just have four games left in its season.

Here’s a look at the former OU players’ week:

Trae Young (3 games): 28.3 points, 11 assists, 48.1 percent shooting

Young started the week with a 14-point and 16-assist double double in a 132-123 win over the Indiana Pacers on Monday, March 28.

Young returned to his home state and played against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday, March 30. He collected 41 points and eight assists in a 136-118 win while playing against his former Norman North High School teammate Lindy Waters III.

“I think it’s gonna be a cool experience,” Young told a group of reporters of playing against Waters before Wednesday’s game. “For people from Norman and people around here that got to see us grow up and play with each other and against each other, I think it’s a cool moment for them.”

“Two kids from Norman, meeting back up in the league, it’s amazing,” said Waters, a former Oklahoma State standout who led OKC with 25 points and seven 3-pointers in the contest.

Young wrapped his week with a 30-point and nine-assist outing in a sizable 131-107 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Thursday, March 31. Young is currently dealing with a groin injury suffered during that contest and remains day-to-day.

Buddy Hield (4 games): 16.5 points, 4.8 assists, 3.5 rebounds

Hield’s week consisted of all losses as the Pacers have currently dropped six consecutive games. Hield finished with 14 points against the Toronto Raptors on Saturday, March 26 in a 131-91 defeat. The following game against the Hawks saw Hield score 26 points on 10-of-15 shooting in a 132-123 loss.

Hield then notched another 20-point game against the Denver Nuggets on Wednesday, March 30 in a 125-118 loss. In a five-point, 128-123, loss to the Boston Celtics on Friday, April 1, Hield came back down to Earth and scored just six points on 2-of-10 shooting along with seven assists.

Austin Reaves (3 games): 4.3 points on 11.1 percent shooting

Reaves produced a less-than-stellar week, as he scored just six points in three games. Against the New Orleans Pelicans on Sunday, March 27, Reaves collected six assists and six rebounds in a 116-108 loss.

The following two games saw Reaves return back to the bench for the first time in nearly two weeks. Reaves collected just six points total in both contests that resulted in losses.

Against the Dallas Mavericks on Tuesday, March 29, the Lakers fell 128-110, and vs. the Utah Jazz on Thursday, March 31 Reaves and Los Angeles suffered a 122-109 defeat.

Blake Griffin (1 game): 9 points, 3 rebounds

Griffin’s sole appearance came against the Miami Heat in a 110-95 win as he finished with nine points and three rebounds.

Up Next

  • Griffin’s Brooklyn Nets at Young’s Atlanta Hawks - 6:30 p.m. CT on Saturday, April 2 on NBA TV

  • Reaves’ Los Angeles Lakers vs. Denver Nuggets - 2:30 p.m. CT on Sunday, April 3 on ABC

  • Hield’s Indiana Pacers vs. the Detroit Pistons - 4 p.m. CT on Sunday, April 3

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