After eight straight games of receiving no playing time, Brooklyn Nets power forward Kris Humphries has played in the last two road games. Humphries hadn’t seen any game action since playing two minutes back on March 2 against the Chicago Bulls.
He had not played in so long, he probably did a double-take when he heard Nets interim head coach P.J. Carlesimo call his name in the first half of the game in Los Angeles against the Clippers on Saturday night.
Though Hump went scoreless in his 10 minutes off the bench against the Clippers, he grabbed two rebounds and added an assist, steal, and a block and apparently did enough to earn more playing time on Sunday night against the Suns.
And the results were great.
Humphries played 28 solid minutes off the bench and scored a season-high 17 points on 6-of-12 shooting from the field. He was also 5-of-5 from the free-throw line.
Humphries nearly notched his seventh double-double of the season, also pulling down eight rebounds. Humphries—who was a walking double-double last season—has not turned in one since the Nets defeated the Knicks at Madison Square Garden back on Jan. 21.
That afternoon, Humphries scored 11 points and grabbed 13 rebounds. Sunday night's performance was clearly his best one since that Knick game.
The timing was great, as well. The Nets were without Joe Johnson, who sat out the game with a quad contusion.
The humble Hump talked about his play after the game.
“I was a little stiff," he said. "It took me a little bit to get loose for the game, but I felt good to get to the free-throw line and hit some free-throws to start and roll with it.”
His long-time teammate Brook Lopez acknowledged his play as well.
“C.J., Hump, all the way down the line, they really saved us. It was big,” the Nets Al-Star said.
With 12 games remaining in the regular season and the Nets having clinched their playoff spot, they need to get Kris Humphries acclimated with the team again.
The team is more versatile with him on the floor and having him as another rebounder is advantageous if and when Reggie Evans finds himself in foul trouble or is just ineffective.
While Humphries is not as good of a rebounder as Evans, when he is playing well, he is a more than capable rebounder and also a much better scorer.
The Nets are now 3-1 on their eight game road trip. The next stop is Portland, where they will battle Rookie of the Year candidate Damian Lillard and the 33-37 Trailblazers.
With more efforts like the one he contributed on Sunday, Humphries will not only find himself playing big minutes again, he may also be instrumental in the Nets returning home with four or five wins on this long road trip.