Anfernee Simons put on a show for the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday night as they took down the Utah Jazz in a nail-biter, 116-111. The 23-year-old was in his bag in this one, dropping a career-high 45 points on 15-of-25 shooting, to go along with two rebounds, four assists, a steal, and two blocks in 41 minutes of action. Simons also went 7-of-12 from beyond the arc as he torched the Jazz in what turned out to be his best performance as a pro.
Simons got hot early in the game, scoring a mind-blowing 33 points in the first two quarters of play. Not even Damian Lillard has ever reached those heights, which clearly speaks volumes of Simons’ career night.
After the game, Simons opened up about his scorching-hot performance as he discussed his mindset entering Saturday’s matchup:
“Just set the tone early by being aggressive and letting my teammates know that I’m here with them and we gonna come out here and get a win,” Simons said. “That’s my mindset coming into the game.”
The Blazers were in desperate need of a win after dropping their last three games. Simons himself acknowledged how important this victory was following their recent skid:
“I feel great. We needed this one,” he said. “We needed a good feeling coming out of the road trip and I’m glad we got it.”
In true Anfernee Simons fashion, the young rising star refused to take all of the credit. He heaped praise on Blazers teammate Jusuf Nurkic for playing a key role in his career performance:
“Nurk’s one of the best screeners, if not the best screener in the NBA,” Simons said. “So we’re very, very happy to have him. He just affects the games in so many ways. We appreciate him for getting us open and we return the favor by giving it to him in the post as well.”
“Letting my teammates know that I’m here with them and we gonna come out here and get a win”
Anfernee Simons led by example tonight on both ends of the floor 😤pic.twitter.com/GtuJgO33je
— ClutchPoints (@ClutchPointsApp) December 4, 2022
Simons has been on an absolute tear of late. He came into the Jazz game averaging 28.0 points, 2.8 rebounds, 5.8 assists, and 1.0 steals, while also connecting in 4.8 triples per game on a 41.3-percent clip. Simons has clearly been more than willing to carry the scoring load for Portland with Lillard still sidelined.