Former UK standout PJ Washington set an NBA record in his first career game

PJ Washington set the bar high in his debut for the Charlotte Hornets.

The former University of Kentucky standout started, scored a team-high 27 points and shot 9-for-17 in the Hornets’ 126-125 win over the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday. It was the first game for both franchises.

He was 7-for-10 from behind the three-point line, making five in the first half, and had four rebounds and a block. Washington set a record for made three-pointers in a player’s debut; Jake Layman (Portland Trail Blazers) and Donyell Marshall (Minnesota Timberwolves) each previously owned the record with five made three-pointers in the first games of their careers. Washington also set a franchise record for most points by a rookie in his debut.

Washington played two seasons at UK and was an All-America selection following his sophomore campaign, in which he averaged 15.2 points and 7.5 rebounds, both team highs.

Charlotte drafted Washington with the No. 12 overall pick in the 2019 NBA Draft.

Washington played a game-high 38 minutes. Malik Monk, another former Wildcat and a current teammate, played 17 minutes, scoring seven points on 3-for-4 shooting.

Josh Moore is in his first year covering the University of Kentucky football team and in his fifth year reporting for the Lexington Herald-Leader, where he’s been employed since 2009. Moore, a Martin County native, graduated from UK with a B.A. in Integrated Strategic Communication and English in 2013. He’s a huge fan of the NBA, Power Rangers and country music.