On New Year’s Day, Lance Stephenson signed a 10-day contract to return to the Indiana Pacers. It’s Stephenson’s third stint with the team after experiencing plenty of success — and memorable moments — with Indiana in the 2010s.
Stephenson played two road games with the Pacers before returning to Indiana on Wednesday for his first home game as a Pacer since 2018. And through one quarter against the Brooklyn Nets, Stephenson has already put together an incredible performance.
In just six minutes, Stephenson came off the bench to score 20 straight points for Indiana, capped off by a buzzer-beating three to end the quarter. Stephenson went 8-of-9 from the field and 4-of-5 on threes.
4-5 from deep.
In one quarter.
Lance. Stephenson. 🤯 pic.twitter.com/kaNyZvlniZ
— NBA (@NBA) January 6, 2022
Lance air guitar celebrations are back 😂🎸 pic.twitter.com/wB7s2eGvig
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) January 6, 2022
At halftime, Stephenson has 24 points on 9-of-11 shooting in 16 minutes, to go with four assists.
"I've been working out 2 years, just waiting for this moment."
— NBA (@NBA) January 6, 2022
Here’s a look at the reaction to Stephenson’s remarkable return to Indiana:
we have just witnessed the most unfathomable heater of the NBA season. Lance Stephenson hits his 20th point of the quarter at the buzzer in SIX minutes played. unbelievable. pic.twitter.com/oFFSvWmPeh
— Rob Perez (@WorldWideWob) January 6, 2022
Lance Stephenson scored 20 straight points for the @Pacers in the 1st quarter.
— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) January 6, 2022
Lance Stephenson just became the first player in NBA history to score 20pts off the bench in the 1st Quarter.
— Pat Boylan (@PatBoylanPacers) January 6, 2022
The last time Lance Stephenson scored 20 in a game was in 2018-19.
He has 20 points tonight. After the first quarter.
Born ready 🎸 pic.twitter.com/QVMQU53V0X
— StatMuse (@statmuse) January 6, 2022
Indiana has to retire Lance's number after this idc
— Jared Wade (@Jared_Wade) January 6, 2022
lance stephenson stealing kyrie irving's spotlight lmao pic.twitter.com/BhwFuTRV9T
— buckets (@buckets) January 6, 2022
Kyrie who? Welcome back … LANCE STEPHENSON??? Blast from the past in Indy. LANCE STEPHENSON JUST SCORED 20 IN THE FIRST QUARTER VS KYRIE, KD AND HARDEN.
— Skip Bayless (@RealSkipBayless) January 6, 2022
just watched lance stephenson dribble down the court, pass to no one, and bust a contested shot on three straight possessions
— kyle robbins (@kylerrobbins) January 6, 2022
What in the Lance Stephenson is going on in Indianapolis?!
— Malika Andrews (@malika_andrews) January 6, 2022
First quarter score: Durant, Harden & Kyrie 20, Lance Stephenson 20.
— Frank Isola (@TheFrankIsola) January 6, 2022
Ben Simmons for Lance?
Who says no?
— Russillo (@ryenarussillo) January 6, 2022
League is definitely drug testing Lance Stephenson as soon as this game ends
— BGN (@BullsGotNext) January 6, 2022