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MM 5.17: Jalen Smith and Bruno Fernando shine to end NBA regular season

This is the Maryland Minute, a short story followed by a roundup of Terps-related news.

NBA: Phoenix Suns at San Antonio Spurs Scott Wachter-USA TODAY Sports

Former Maryland men’s basketball stars Jalen Smith and Bruno Fernando thrived Sunday in expanded roles to close the NBA regular season.

Smith notched his first NBA start as the Phoenix Suns had already clinched the No. 2 seed in the Western Conference. In 41 minutes of play, Smith tallied 11 points, 10 rebounds, two blocks and two assists to notch his first career double-double.

Fernando came off the bench in the Hawks’ regular season finale despite them having clinched the No. 5 seed in the Eastern Conference. He finished with 10 points, nine rebounds, two steals and one assist in 21 minutes on the floor.

Smith and Fernando have both been limited to small roles with their respective teams during this 2020-21 season but showed Sunday that they have the capacity to succeed when minutes arise.

With the Atlanta Hawks (Kevin Huerter, Fernando), Phoenix Suns (Smith) and Washington Wizards (Alex Len) making the postseason, four of five Terps in the NBA will have the chance to take part in the playoffs.

Len and the Wizards will kick off the action at 9 p.m. on Tuesday as they take on the Boston Celtics in the No. 7 vs No. 8 play-in game.

In other news

No. 3 Maryland men’s lacrosse cruised past Vermont, 17-11, to open the NCAA Tournament.

Maryland women’s lacrosse fell to No. 7 seed Duke, 13-12, putting an end to its season.

Maryland baseball notched a 7-2 win over Purdue to complete a series sweep.

Maryland softball honored its seniors in its final game of the season.

Maryland women’s basketball guard Taisiya Kozlova advanced to the next round of the Russian Basketball Federation’s U20 National Team trials.

Maryland women’s basketball forward Angel Reese was named a finalist for the USA Basketball U19 World Cup team.

Former Maryland football running back Jake Funk signed his rookie contract with the Los Angeles Rams this weekend.

Maryland track and field had a successful weekend at the Big Ten Championships.