Pat Connaughton, Jerian Grant meet, sit in NBA matchup

IRISH STEW

Tom Noie
South Bend Tribune

They both sat and watched.

Saturday marked the first time that the professional basketball paths of former Notre Dame standouts Pat Connaughton and Jerian Grant crossed during the NBA's regular season.

Grant's New York Knicks visited Connaughton and the Portland Trail Blazers at the Moda Center. The Knicks (11-14) beat the Blazers (10-15), 112-110, as the rookies finished with identical stat lines - DNP-CDs (did not play, coach's decision).

Grant, a first-round pick in June who was traded twice on draft night, had been a regular in the Knicks' rotation early in the season. he's since seen his playing time cut in part because he's struggled to make a shot. Saturday was the first time he has not played in a game this season.

In 24 games, Grant is averaging 5.5 points, 1.9 rebounds and 2.5 assists per game. he's shooting 38.1 percent from the field, 19.2 percent from 3 and 82.,2 percent from the foul line.

Connaughton holds the Notre Dame record for career games played (139), but has seldom had a chance to show the skills that made him a second-round draft pick. Like Grant, Connaughton also was traded on draft night, going from Brooklyn to a rebuilding Portland team.

Connaughton has appeared in only six games, averaging 0.8 points and 0.2 rebounds. He logged a career-high four minutes in Portland's second game against the Los Angeles Clippers. He's shooting 25 percent from the field and has made both of his 3-point attempts and all three free throws.