Saturday night, Justin Harper played his most effective offensive game since signing in Europe, but his Strasbourg IG club lost to Chalon, 80-70, dropping Harper's team to 2-3 on the season. Harper shot 5-of-8 from the field (3-of-5 from three-point range) for 14 points in just 27 minutes. The Orlando Magic rookie tied former Pittsburgh Panther Ricardo Greer for team-high scoring honors. Strasbourg couldn't stop Chalon swingmen Ilian Evtimov and Malcolm Delaney, who combined for 37 points and eight three-pointers.
Harper's scoring total Saturday set a new career-high for him. In addition, he tallied five rebounds and an assist. In five games, he's averaging 11.6 points and 6.2 rebounds on 44 percent shooting from the field and 36.8 percent shooting on three-pointers. In his last three games, the lanky forward has connected on 7-of-16 (43.8 percent) of his triple-tries.
Orlando acquired Harper's draft rights from the Cleveland Cavaliers on the night of the 2011 NBA Draft. The former Richmond Spider projects to be able to play both forward positions at the NBA level, and has drawn comparisons to former Magic player Rashard Lewis due to his combination of size (6-foot-9) and three-point marksmanship.
Harper and Strasbourg next take the court on Saturday, November 12th, against Roanne, a team which features point guard Andre Barrett, who spent 11 games with Orlando during the 2004/05 season.