NEW YORK -- Bojan Bogdanovic on Tuesday night looked a whole lot like another Croatian sharpshooter who used to play for the Brooklyn Nets' franchise: the late Drazen Petrovic.
Bogdanovic matched his jersey number, scoring a career-high 44 points and tying Petrovic for the most points ever scored by a foreign-born Net in Brooklyn's 131-114 victory over the Philadelphia 76ers at Barclays Center.
"I didn't honestly know that (Drazen) scored 44, so I was surprised; I thought that he scored even more," said Bogdanovic, whose previous career-high was 28. "So I am really proud to tie his record."
Bogdanovic made his first nine shots and had 24 points by halftime. He finished 17-for-27 from the field, 4-for-9 from 3-point territory and 6-for-7 from the free throw line.
Late in the fourth quarter, it looked like he had a chance to reach 50, but he ultimately came up six points short.
"I tried, but then I missed a couple shots and I was like, 'All right, 40 is good too,'" Bogdanovic said, laughing.
Petrovic scored 44 points on Jan. 24, 1993, against Houston. He played three seasons for the Nets, averaging more than 20 points per game in 1991-92 and 1992-93. Tragically, he died in a car accident on June 7, 1993, at age 28.
Bogdanovic had just four games of 20 or more points this season prior to his 44-point outburst. But against a depleted Sixers roster, he was able to get a bunch of easy baskets. It may have been pretty uneventful as far as highlights are concerned, but it was impressive nonetheless.
"I felt, at times, you just shake his hand and say good luck to him," said Philadelphia coach Brett Brown, whose team did not face Bogdanovic last Friday because he was held out to rest. "He's a big wing who can shoot. I'm happy he didn't play against us the last time we played against them.
"I'm sure we'll go back to the tape and say we could've done better, but I think a large part is he is just a big wing and we had a hard time matching up. We ran out of bodies to match up on him, but it shouldn't take away from the great game he had."
Down the road, the Nets want Bogdanovic to become more consistent. And his defense continues to be an adventure. But when he's playing with confidence and making shots the way he did on Tuesday night, he's certainly an asset.
"That's definitely what he's capable of. I can't say I'm surprised," said Brook Lopez, who surprised everyone by hitting a 3-pointer from the top of the key in the fourth. "We've seen him get superhot before, but he just got a lot more looks tonight."
As Nets coach Tony Brown added, "Bogdanovic held us together. He had a huge night. It was great to see him shoot the ball the way he did, and we kind of rode his back a little bit."