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Best all-time performances by former Terps in the NBA Playoffs originally appeared on NBC Sports Washington
Kevin Huerter is a former top-20 pick in the NBA Draft after spending two seasons playing for Mark Turgeon at Maryland. An unexpected showing at the 2018 NBA Combine propelled Huerter to being selected as a first-round pick by the Hawks, and Atlanta is starting to reap the benefits from their decision.
On Sunday, Huerter went off against the 76ers in Game 7 of their Eastern Conference semifinals. "Red Velvet" dropped 27 points on the biggest stage of his life to eliminate the top-seeded 76ers and keep the Hawks' season alive.
With the basketball world watching, and discovering the greatness of Huerter in the process, let's run through some other memorable moments from former Terps in the NBA Playoffs to see how Huerter's career night stacks up.
Only two other performances occurred in the last 30 years, which goes to show you just how special Huerter's Sunday was. And none of these games came in a Game 7.
In reverse chronological order, these are the greatest NBA playoff performances in Maryland history.
Kevin Huerter, 2021
Huerter's performance easily earns him a spot on this list. Known as a knockdown three-point shooter, Huerter only made two long-range shots on Sunday. That didn't stop him from dropping 27 points, seven rebounds and three assists.
What helps put him over the top is the fact that it came in a Game 7 against the best team in the conference. It doesn't get any more clutch than that.
Juan Dixon, 2005
In what was probably the greatest postseason performance by a Terp in NBA history, Dixon was spectacular in a first-round matchup with the Bulls. The leading scorer in Maryland history, Dixon dropped 35 points on 11-15 shooting, including a 10-10 performance from the free throw line.
This was the only postseason game in which Dixon scored over 20 points in his career, but he made it count with an all-time memorable night.
Steve Francis, 2004
Francis wasn't in College Park long, but he was still one of the most exciting, dynamic players in program history. That carried over to the NBA, especially in his only career postseason series. In Game 3, Francis scored 27 points while recorded nine rebounds and seven assists, putting him in range of a triple-double while shooting 4-5 from beyond the arc.
John Lucas, 1987
The former top overall pick in the draft had his best game later in his career. In the Eastern Conference semifinals, Lucas scored 30 points thanks to his 4-4 shooting from three-point range. He only had three assists and zero rebounds, but it didn't matter on a night Lucas simply could not miss.
Brad Davis, 1986
Davis also could not miss in the opening round of the Western Conference playoffs, going 5-5 from three-point range and scoring 26 points on the night. In what is probably the best pure shooting night a Maryland alumnus has ever had in the postseason, Davis also made all three of his two-pointers. Ironically, his only misses the entire night came at the free-throw line.
Buck Williams and Albert King, 1985
Interestingly enough, two of the greatest performances in NBA postseason history by former Terrapins not only came in the same season, but in the same game. Both playing for the Nets, Williams and King went off on April 24, 1985 against the Pistons. They felt short of winning the game, but both players had nights to remember.
Williams scored 28 points and recorded 12 rebounds, while King also had 28 points to go with nine rebounds and four steals. Both players left it all on the court, despite the loss.
Len Elmore, 1975
It was a long time ago - long enough that it took place in the ABA, not the NBA - but Elmore's performance is too good not to mention. The big man scored 30 points on 13-20 shooting, combined with 12 rebounds and five steals. His career night came in a win in the Western Division Semifinals.