Saturday, July 4, 2015

Recap: Thunder 76, Hornets 74

While Frank Kaminsky's strong second half for the Hornets is likely to receive the majority of the attention, it was a second-year standout for the Thunder who stole the game and the show.
Semaj Christon fired off 14 points, including a game-winning layup with 20.4 seconds left, to propel Oklahoma City past Charlotte for a 76-74 victory on the opening day of Southwest Airlines Orlando Pro Summer League action.
It was a well-balanced performance for the guard, who spent last season with the Oklahoma City Blue after being acquired by the Thunder on 2014 NBA Draft night, as he also tallied 10 assists and five rebounds.
"He was confident, he scored some important points for us and at the same time he was sharing the ball and playing the right way," said Oklahoma City Summer League Head Coach Darko Rajakovic.
Another second-year player for the Thunder, Mitch McGary, also showed signs of making strides. The 6'10" power forward, who's dropped approximately 20 pounds since the end of last season, posted eight points and 13 rebounds.
Rookie Dakari Johnson made an impact, tallying seven points and 11 boards.
"It went really well," Johnson explained. "We were practicing for a whole week, so we were prepared for this and we just tried to get better on the defensive end."
While the Hornets dropped the contest, they'll take solace in the fact that Kaminsky instantly made his mark on the game.
The No. 9 overall pick in 2015 NBA Draft erupted for 19 points and 12 rebounds.
"He played a great game," said Charlotte Summer League Head Coach Patrick Ewing.
Kaminsky also put his versatility on display, stretching the floor by connecting on 4-of-8 shots from downtown.
"I think that's great," Ewing added. "It's definitely going to open up the floor."
The Hornets received quality contributions from Aaron Harrison. The University of Kentucky standout, who went undrafted, did his best to open some eyes around the league by notching 10 points, five rebounds, three steals and two assists.
"He's been playing extremely well for us in camp," Ewing said.
Charlotte returns to action on Sunday when they face the Memphis Grizzlies at 3 p.m. ET, while Oklahoma City has the day off before taking on the Magic Blue team on Monday at 3 p.m.

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