Aussie Joe’s awesome new NBA achievement
JOE Ingles had 11 points in the opening quarter and hit an impressive career milestone during Utah's NBA clash against Memphis on Saturday (AEDT).
The likeable Aussie, who has made a name for himself as one of the top long-range shooters in the league, drained the 500th three-pointer of his career during his early scoring spree.
It makes him one of just seven Jazz players to have ever dropped 500 career three-pointers.
After starting with a couple of turnovers, Ingles bounced back with his trademark accuracy from beyond the arc to add another incredible chapter to his American journey.
Ricky Rubio found his groove in the second quarter to reach double figures in the points column but Memphis stayed within striking distance, down by just four with four minutes remaining in the half.
Mike Conley (14 points) was doing the damage on the scoreboard for the Grizzlies with support from Marc Gasol (nine).
But a late run from the Jazz established a 10-point buffer and Utah went into half-time up 59-50. Ingles had 14 points for the half and Rubio 17.
Now in his fifth season with the Jazz, Ingles has become not just a franchise favourite but a much-loved figure across the league. The 31-year-old has gone from NBA "average Joe" to a star of the competition in the past two years.
His heroics during the Jazz's upset playoffs series win over Oklahoma City last post-season took Ingles to a new level of stardom.
His running battle with Thunder star Paul George was the highlight of a match where he caught fire and tallied 21 points, all the while dishing out plenty of trash talk.
Ingles showed in the Jazz's season opening 123-117 win over Sacramento last month that his hot form last season was no fluke.
Ingles lit up the Kings in the first half in California, knocking down 17 points with three minutes still to play in the first half.
Having hit all three of his three-point attempts in the first half, Ingles was on track for a new career-high points haul. He set that record against the Thunder in last season's playoffs when he knocked down 27 points.
The Kings finally found a way to shut him down in the second half, but he still finished the game with 22 points, six assists and four steals.
The shooter's first half performance in that game sent out a warning to the rest of the western conference.
Ingles was re-signed by the Jazz in July 2017 on a four-year deal reportedly worth $72 million. His form since that signing shows the Jazz got him for a steal.