Bennedict Mathurin records 19th 20-point game off bench, second most by rookie since 1970-71

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Pacers Bennedict Mathurin records 19th 20-point game off bench, second most by rookie since 1970-71

Indiana Pacers forward Bennedict Mathurin logged his 19th 20-point game off the bench in Wednesday’s 126-120 loss against the Orlando Magic, tying him for the second-most 20-point games off the bench by a rookie since starters were first listed on box scores in 1970-71.

Through 50 appearances, the No. 6 overall pick from last year’s draft is averaging 17.6 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 1.4 assists per contest. While playing 28.5 minutes per game, Mathurin is also shooting 42.4% from the field and 32.4% outside the arc.

Per multiple NBA betting sites, Bennedict Mathurin has second-shortest odds to win Rookie of the Year. Check out which sportsbooks are giving Orlando Magic wing Paolo Banchero greater odds to win the award.

In Indiana’s loss to the Magic on Wednesday, Bennedict Mathurin ended his outing with 26 points, three boards, four assists, one steal, and one block in 33 minutes played. Plus, he shot 7-of-18 (38.9%) from the floor, drained two 3-pointers, and finished 10-of-12 (83.3%) at the free throw line.

Orlando outscored the Pacers 46-29 in the opening quarter, leading by 17 points. This disappointing performance led to Indiana’s eighth loss in nine games since Tyrese Haliburton suffered a sprained left knee and sprained left elbow.

Pacers rookie Bennedict Mathurin joins Ben Gordon, Jeff Ruland as the only rookies in NBA history to record at least 19 20-point games off the bench since 1970-71

“Lousy first quarter. We’ve got to get off to better starts,” Pacers coach Rick Carlisle said. “They hit us with a lot of shots, drives to the basket, and we were on our heels. The second night of a back to back is not an excuse because we’ve been good all year in those situations.”

Furthermore, only two other rookies in NBA history have recorded at least 19 20-point games off the bench since 1970-71: Ben Gordon (24 in 2004-05) and Jeff Ruland (19 in 1981-82). As a rookie, Gordon registered four 30-point games off the bench, the most in league history.

Coby White logged three 30-point games as a rookie, and Mathurin currently has two. If not for Banchero playing so well, Bennedict Mathurin would be a shoo-in to win Rookie of the Year. Banchero ended Wednesday night with 23 points against Indiana.

On Oct. 29, in the Pacers’ 125-116 win versus the Brooklyn Nets, Bennedict Mathurin logged a career-high 32 points 34 minutes of action. In addition to recording five boards and two assists, the rookie wing shot 8-of-16 (50%) from the field, 6-of-9 (66.7%) beyond the arc, and a perfect 10-of-10 (100%) at the foul line.

In Indiana’s 124-109 loss to the Chicago Bulls on Oct. 26, the Arizona product became the first Pacers rookie to score 100-plus points through five career games. Then, he won Eastern Conference Kia Rookie of the Month on Dec. 1 for the month of November. He averaged 19.2 points per game.