LOCALS IN THE NBA

Sam Merrill Scores Career-High, Helps Cavs Beat Rockets In OT

Dec 18, 2023, 9:41 PM

Sam-Merrill-Cleveland-Cavaliers-NBA...

Sam Merrill #5 of the Cleveland Cavaliers poses during media day at Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse on October 02, 2023 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

(Photo by Jason Miller/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY – Former Utah State men’s basketball standout Sam Merrill scored a career-high and helped the Cleveland Cavaliers defeat the Houston Rockets in overtime.

Sam Merrill scores career-high in win over Rockets

The Cavaliers hosted the Rockets at Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse in Cleveland, Ohio on Monday, December 18.

Merrill scored a career-high 19 points to help the Cavs pick up a 135-130 overtime victory over the visitors from Houston.

The former Aggie knocked down a three-pointer from 25 feet out with 1:37 remaining in overtime to put Cleveland ahead on the scoreboard, 131-124.

The triple helped secure a five-point win for the Cavaliers.

Merrill finished the contest scoring his 19 points on 6-11 shooting, including 5-10 from beyond the arc. He added four rebounds, three assists, one steal, and one block in 24 minutes off of the bench. Merrill posted a plus-13 rating, the highest plus-minus for any member of the Cavaliers roster.

Merrill entered the contest averaging 3.7 points per game on 38.1 percent shooting. He is also averaging 1.0 rebounds, 0.7 assists, and 0.2 blocks in 8.5 minutes per game. Merrill has played in 14 games this season.

With the win, the Cavaliers improved their record to 15-12 this season.

Cleveland’s next game is at home against the Utah Jazz on December 20 at 5 p.m. (MT). The game will be broadcast on KJZZ, Jazz+NBA League PassKSL Sports Zone (97.5 FM), KSLSports.com, and the KSL Sports app.

About Sam Merrill

Before his professional career, the Bountiful High product was a star for the Aggies. During his time at USU, Merrill was honored as AP Honorable Mention All-American (2019), Mountain West Conference Player of the Year (2019), first-team All-Mountain West (2019 & 2020), and Moutain West tournament MVP (2019 & 2020).

After a standout career at USU, Merrill was selected by the New Orleans Pelicans with the No. 60 overall pick during the 2020 NBA Draft. Merrill was sent to the Milwaukee Bucks as part of a draft day trade.

RELATED: Former Utah State Guard Sam Merrill Selected By Milwaukee Bucks In 2020 NBA Draft

Since his rookie season, Merrill has played for the Bucks, Memphis Grizzlies, and Cavaliers. He’s also played in the G League for the Memphis Hustle and Cleveland Charge.

In 2021, Merrill helped the Bucks win the NBA Finals.

During his NBA career, the Utah State alum has averaged 3.5 points, 1.1 rebounds, 0.7 assists, and 0.3 steals in his first 54 games played.

Kyle Ireland is a Sports Producer and Locals in the NFL Insider for KSLSports.com. He’s also co-host of the Yards After College Podcast. Follow him on Threads (@kyleirelandksl), Instagram (@kyleirelandksl). and X (@kyleireland).

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Sam Merrill Scores Career-High, Helps Cavs Beat Rockets In OT