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SACRAMENTO -- Just when you thought he was done for the season, Jimmer Fredette lights up the box score. With less than a month left in the current season, Fredette shows flashes of his old self during games and finally puts together a solid performance.
Fredette started off April by scoring 19 points in a 116- 108 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves. Fredette made 7-of-15 shots from the field, including three 3-pointers, and proved to be a much-needed piece of Sacramento’s offense after Marcus Thronton left the game in the first quarter with an injury.
"You still never know who (coach) is going to call on to play," Fredette said. "But I was able to play pretty well, help the team continue to roll and continue to gain a lead. So I was just feeling good, and I was able to help out and we were able to win."
Fredette reached double digits in scoring for the first time since mid-March. Additionally, 19 points were the most he’s scored since January, when he tallied 20 and 19 in back-to-back games.
“I just got into a rhythm, and guys were finding me,” Fredette said. “It felt pretty good, and hopefully it continues.”
Unfortunately, it didn’t continue.
On Tuesday, Fredette went ice cold from the field against the Phoenix Suns, going 0-for-6 in 13 minutes. The setback seemed to hurt more this time after such a complete performance the night before.
After playing the Kings last week, former college rival Kawhi Leonard commented to Jeff McDonald of Spurs Nation that he still believes Fredette bound for good things in the league.
“It’s his first year,” Leonard said. “Everybody’s struggling as rookies coming in. With the lockout, you didn’t get to practice with your teammates. He’s a hard worker. I believe he’ll get better as time goes on.”
Praise and encouragement for Fredette and his game were echoed by analyst Bill Walton, who was a part of the broadcast in Sacramento’s 93-85 loss to the LA Clippers last night.
He has so much going for him. Everyone wants him to do so well - He's trying so hard, but he's going to make it some day.
“He has so much going for him,” Walton said during the broadcast. “Everyone wants him to do so well… He’s trying so hard, but he’s going to make it some day.”
Fredette’s poor shooting continued as he made only 3-of-10 shots, but remained on the court during critical possessions down the stretch.
"He's been working his tail off," coach Keith Smart said after the Minnesota game. "He's been doing things to be a really good guard to be able to play in the NBA."
With only a few weeks left in the season, Fredette's current play is building the foundation for next season.