Friday, July 10, 2015

Recap: Grizzlies 87, Thunder 81

It's hard enough for young players to break into the rotation of an NBA team. It's even harder when that squad has reached the Western Conference Semifinals two of the last three years.
However, that's the tough task that Jarnell Stokes, Russ Smith and Jordan Adams are faced with. And they're doing their best in the Southwest Airlines Orlando Pro Summer League to show that their time has come.
Stokes fired off a team-high 18 points and Smith and Adams each scored 17 to lead the Memphis Grizzlies to an 87-81 victory on Thursday. With the win, Memphis improved to 4-0 and earned a spot in the Championship Game on Friday.
"I'm glad we've all been able to come out, perform and make a good name for the Grizzlies," Stokes said.
The trio has done their fair share to help the Grizzlies remain undefeated in summer league action.
"All of us have come out and done different things well," Stokes explained.
Stokes is averaging 13.3 points and 6.8 rebounds and has been a force down low, implementing tactics he learned from Zach Randolph and Marc Gasol over the course of last season.
"I just try to play the right way and play hard," he said. "I felt I've done a pretty good job of that this summer league."
Smith has shot the lights out, knocking down 55.3 percent of his shots from the field, while posting 14.8 points, 5.5 assists and 3.3 steals per game.
"He's made a lot of jumps," Stokes said of his teammate. "He's just running the team and constantly talking."
Memphis has also received quality production from Adams, the No. 22 selection in the 2014 NBA Draft. He leads the Grizzlies in scoring, averaging 17.3 points per contest.
"He's getting his hands on a lot of ball, being active and defensively being a guard version of a beast," Stokes said of Adams. "He's brought so much energy to the table, he's been a big reason why we're winning."
Although the Thunder struggled to defend the rack, allowing 40 points in the paint, Mitch McGary was once again a bright spot for Oklahoma City.
The 6'10 power forward notched 16 points and seven rebounds for the Thunder.
Semaj Christon scored a game-high 19 points, while Quinn Cook, an undrafted guard from Duke's National Championship squad, made his presence felt notching 15 points, five assists and five rebounds off the bench.
Oklahoma City (2-2) will take on the Los Angeles Clippers in their final contest of summer league at 8 a.m. ET on Friday, while Memphis matches up against the Orlando White team at noon.

No comments: