Two months after rejoining the Brooklyn Nets, Spencer Dinwiddie traveled to Detroit on the night before his 30th birthday with a chance to pull the Nets within one game of clinching a playoff birth. The veteran answered the call, dishing out a career-high 16 assists in a 123-108 win over his former team.

Dinwiddie spent the first two seasons of his career bouncing between the Pistons and their G-League affiliate before receiving a call from the Nets during the 2016-17 season. The point guard would go on to make a name for himself in Brooklyn, eventually leaving for Washington after the acquisitions of Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant before being traded to Dallas. Ironically, Irving’s trade request at this year’s deadline would bring Dinwiddie back to the Nets.

The floor general posted 10 assists during the first quarter of Wednesday’s win, making him the third Net to post double-digit assists in a period since the NBA began tracking quarters in 1996-97. Four of those were to Joe Harris, the lone Net remaining from Dinwiddie’s first stint in Brooklyn. Harris drained six triples in the opening period, tying a career-best.

Following the performance, Spencer Dinwiddie sat back to reflect on a full-circle moment in his career:

“Last game at 29. In Detroit, playing for BKN. Joey Buckets leads me to a career-high in assists. Basically sums up my career. My scriptwriter is crazy lol,” he wrote on Instagram.


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Harris made sure to give his longtime teammate credit for his first-quarter explosion following the win:

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“Spence did an unbelievable job there in the first quarter of facilitating and finding, not just me, but a lot of guys shots,” Harris said. “When I got a lot of shots up it’s usually because the ball is moving and other guys are facilitating.

Royce O’Neale gave the Nets a major lift while replacing the injured Dorian Finney-Smith in the starting lineup, posting 15 points and eight assists on 4-of-9 shooting from three. The veteran quickly pointed to Dinwiddie when asked about his success during the win:

“Spence started it. What did he have, 10 assists in the first quarter? I mean that’s impressive,” O’Neale said. “I asked him if he was going for 10 each quarter to get 40.”

Brooklyn drained 17 three-pointers while tallying 30 assists during the victory, something head coach Jacque Vaughn attributed to high-level ball movement spurred by Dinwiddie’s career-best opening quarter:

“Spencer with the 16 assists. He was really sharing that thing,” Vaughn said. “For us to get over 40 threes up, I think that really speaks to how we were sharing the basketball with the shot selection that we got.”

25 games into his second Brooklyn tenure, Dinwiddie’s elite passing should come as no surprise. The Colorado product led the NBA with 146 total assists (9.7 per game) in March, the most recorded by a Net in a month in over a decade (Deron Williams had 154 in Jan. 2012).

Dinwiddie was among the faces at the forefront of Brooklyn’s rise from the NBA’s basement to a scrappy playoff team during the 2018-19 season. That squad earned the sixth seed, eventually falling to the Philadelphia 76ers in the first round of the playoffs. Three years later following Durant and Irving’s failed tenure, Spencer Dinwiddie is back leading an underdog Brooklyn squad that is also on track to clinch the sixth seed for a matchup with the high-powered 76ers.

Quite the script, indeed.