Friday, July 10, 2015

Recap: Heat 91, Pistons 68

Even with Justise Winslow, Shabazz Napier and James Ennis resting and Tyler Johnson (jaw) injured, the Miami Heat made easy work of the Detroit Pistons to go undefeated at the Southwest Airlines Orlando Pro Summer League.
Josh Richardson, who was selected with the 40th overall pick in the 2015 NBA Draft, posted 18 points and Zoran Dragic contributed with 16 points in the Heat's 91-68 victory. Tyler Kalinoski scored 15 and Juwan Howard Jr. had 10 points.
"The game is slowing down for me," Richardson said. "Today I felt like I had to take a lead role and carry us a little bit."
Miami (5-0) claimed third place in the competition. Orlando White and Memphis had accumulated more points entering the final day to finish higher in the standings.
The Heat will look to carry this momentum to Las Vegas where they start their next set of summer league games on Saturday against the Utah Jazz at 10:30 p.m. ET.
"We had a great team effort," Heat summer league coach Dan Craig said. "Guys just stayed ready."
Miami did a majority of its damage in the second quarter when it outscored Detroit, 24-9.
Stanley Johnson, who was terrific all week in his first few professional games, recorded 10 points and four rebounds for the Pistons. He struggled with his shot, however (3-for-10 from field, 1-for-3 from 3-point distance).
Spencer Dinwiddie led Detroit (2-3) with 11 points, while Justin Harper added 10 points.

Recap: Thunder 101, Clippers 100 (2 OT)

It may have been an 8 a.m. start on the final day of the 2015 Southwest Airlines Orlando Pro Summer League, but that early time didn't prevent the Clippers and Thunder from delivering the best offensive output of the week and a fantastic finish.
Los Angeles and Oklahoma City combined for 201 points and it took a sudden death double overtime to determine a winner.
Semaj Christon buried a game-winning free throw to lift the Thunder, 101-100. He finished with 23 points as OKC claimed fifth place in the tournament.
The final moments of regulation went back and forth, culminating in a near half-court heave from L.A.'s Geron Johnson that went in at the buzzer. However, it was ruled that the shot was still on his fingertips when the clock struck zero.
It was just as frenetic in overtime. Yanick Moreira connected on a game-tying layup with 4.2 seconds remaining to force sudden death.
Jordan Hamilton, who had been struggling all week, recorded a 2015 Orlando Summer League-best 29 points for the Clippers. However, his baseline fadeaway shot in the sudden death double OT rimmed off before Christon was fouled on the other end.
Quinn Cook posted 22 points and nine assists for OKC, which dished out 23 dimes as a team and outrebounded L.A., 34-28.
Moreira tallied 21 points for the Clippers, while Diante Garrett scored 16 and C.J. Wilcox had 14. Branden Dawson, the Clippers' 2015 second round draft selection, sat out and Nate Wolters, who played last season with the Bucks and Pelicans, missed his second straight game with a fractured finger.
The Thunder's Levi Randolph contributed 17 points and James Southerland posted 15 points.
This was the second game this week that went to a sudden death double overtime. The Magic (Blue) and Grizzlies game was also decided that way.

Recap: Jazz 84, 76ers 78 (OT)

The Jazz jumped ahead early, fell behind late, and then fought back to close out the Utah Jazz Summer League with an 84-78 overtime win over the Philadelphia 76ers Thursday night in front of 12,128 fans at EnergySolutions Arena.
Utah went 3-0 during the week, while Philadelphia went 1-2.
Bryce Cotton led all scorers with 20 points?including 12 in the fourth quarter and overtime?and added five rebounds, five assists and two steals. JaJuan Johnson scored 12 points, while Jack Cooley and Trey Lyles finished with 10 points each.
Jordan McRae scored a team-high 19 points for the Sixers.
Jerami Grant, who rose up and posterized Brock Motum with a hellacious one-handed slam early in the first quarter, had 10 points in only 17 minutes.
Jahlil Okafor scored 11 points and finished the week averaging 14.0 points and 8.3 rebounds in three games. He also went a combined 4-for-13 from the free-throw line.
Key Stretch
After a 20-7 fourth-quarter run gave Philadelphia a 74-68 lead, the Jazz scored six straight points to tie the game (Cotton hit a jumper and two free throws, then Cooley bounced in two more free throws with 21.1 seconds left).
With the shot clock off, Okafor isolated in the post for a potential game-winner, but Cooley knocked the ball away with under three seconds left. Chris Johnson grabbed the loose ball, sprinted up the court and swished a 30-foot runner ... but the Jazz bench had called a timeout, negating the shot. Cotton got an open look on a corner three at the buzzer, but it rimmed out.
The Jazz, though, kept the late-game momentum and dominated the overtime period.
Thursday's Best
Cotton and Cooley took over down the stretch for the Jazz.
Cotton scored 12 of Utah's final 14 points, including eight straight points in overtime (he sank two jumpers off the dribble and went 4-for-4 from the line). With Danté Exum and Rodney Hood out, Cotton was Utah's offense late in the game.
Meanwhile, Cooley hit the free throws to tie the game in regulation, came up with the huge steal to force overtime, forced a travel by Okafor on Philadelphia's first OT possession, threw down a two-handed dunk off a nice bounce pass from Lyles, and then grabbed three straight rebounds as if his life depended on them?including one where he nearly ripped Furkan Aldemir's arm off?to keep Utah's momentum rolling in overtime.
Significant Stat
The Jazz snagged 13 steals and forced 26 total Philadelphia turnovers, which led to 26 Utah points. On the flip side, the Jazz only turned the ball over 12 times, resulting in five Philadelphia points.
Quote of the Night
"For [young guys] these kinds of situations are invaluable. We spend a lot of the summer in the gym working out, but you can't replicate this. That's the point of summer league."
?Utah summer league head coach Alex Jensen
Notable
Lyles entered the game to a standing ovation with 5:57 left in the first quarter. He went 3-for-9 from the field and 4-for-6 from the line ... The Jazz signed Brazilian point guard Raul Neto to a multiyear contract Thursday. ... Hood (rest) and Exum (ankle) did not play. ... Forward JaJuan Johnson had a perfect shooting night (4-for-4 from the field, 4-for-4 from the line). ... The teams combined to commit 55 fouls.
Up Next
Both the Jazz and the Sixers will participate in the Las Vegas Summer League starting this weekend.

Recap: Celtics 85, Spurs 71

The Boston Celtics overcame a slow start to take down the San Antonio Spurs 85-71 Thursday night at EnergySolutions Arena.
Both teams finished the Utah Jazz Summer League with records of 1-2.
After sitting out Tuesday's game, Marcus Smart filled up the box score with 22 points, four rebounds, seven assists, three steals and a block for the Celtics.
Outside of Smart, Boston's two first-round draft picks had their best games of the week. Terry Rozier finished with 16 points and seven assists, while R.J. Hunter, who was 0-for-8 from the field entering the game, went 4-for-4 from 3-point range en route to 18 points.
Cady Lalanne led the Spurs with 13 points, while Roscoe Smith was the only other San Antonio player in double figures with 10 points. Kyle Anderson had nine points, seven assists and six steals.
Key Stretch
Boston outscored San Antonio 27-13 in the second quarter to take the game over. Smart came alive after a scoreless opening period, scoring 15 second-quarter points to help erase an 11-point deficit. With time winding down in the half, Rozier missed a jumper but Smart wrestled the ball out of the scrum under the basket and put in a layup at the buzzer to make the score 40-35 at halftime.
Thursday's Best
Smart was worth the price of admission by himself.
On the night, he (in no particular order) ... outscored the Spurs entire team 15-13 in the second quarter, drilled four 3-pointers, took three charges, threw two consecutive alley-oops that resulted in dunks for his teammates, absolutely stuffed Treveon Graham on a breakaway dunk attempt, grabbed a steal and dished to a teammate for a three-point play ... and was pretty much as ferocious and awesome as usual.
Significant Stat
Boston dished out 21 assists on 29 field goals and committed only 10 turnovers. Both Smart and Rozier had seven assists, while C.J. Fair and Royce O'Neale had three each.
Quote of the Night
"I thought Marcus was much better tonight than he was in the first game. Obviously it helps when the ball is going in?you get into a rhythm. We shared the ball. We were much more connected defensively. We looked good. I thought we played well."
?Boston head coach Brad Stevens
Up Next
Both the Celtics and Spurs will participate in the Las Vegas Summer League starting this weekend.

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.

Recap: Magic White 65, Nets 58

Orlando Magic White will be playing for the Southwest Airlines Orlando Pro Summer League championship on Friday. They defeated the Brooklyn Nets, 65-58, on Thursday to remain undefeated and accumulate enough points to assure a spot in the title game.
It's a worthy accomplishment considering no players on the roster are under contract in the NBA and only one has extensive NBA experience (Chris Singleton) in the past.
"It's definitely gratifying (to make title game)," said Magic Coach Anthony Goldwire, who is also an assistant coach for the D-League's Erie BayHawks. "We were slotted not to win a game. All these guys are hungry."
Keith Appling continued his impressive play with 19 points. He went 8-of-12 from the free throw line and has attempted a summer league-high 33 foul shots. Appling has scored in double figures in each of Orlando's four contests.
"He's the engine that makes us go," Goldwire said about Appling.
As they have done all week, Keith Benson and Melvin Ejim played physical inside. They combined for 16 rebounds and limited Brooklyn's frontline to minimal production. Cliff Alexander and Rondae Hollis-Jefferson combined for seven points on 3-of-12 shooting from the field.
Taylor Braun, who celebrated his 24th birthday earlier this week, buried a pair of critical jumpers down the stretch. He finished with eight points. Scottie Wilbekin contributed with 11 points off the bench.
"Instant offense," Goldwire said about Wilbekin. "We need Scottie scoring."
The Magic (4-0) held the Nets (0-4) to 31 percent shooting from the field and 19 percent from 3-point distance. Ryan Boatright led Brooklyn with 13 points.
Orlando's opponent in the title game will either be Miami or Memphis. Both the Heat and Grizzlies were undefeated entering Thursday's action.

Recap: Pacers 91, Magic Blue 85

Tyler Harvey, the nation's leading 3-point shooter last season in college basketball, saw a 3-pointer rim out with 17 seconds remaining, ending the Orlando Magic's bid of a come-from-behind victory on Thursday.
Harvey, a second-round pick of the Magic, had 24 points and four 3-pointers, but it wasn't enough as Indiana rallied for a 91-85 win for its first victory of the Southwest Airlines Orlando Pro Summer League.
Guard Joe Young, the 43rd pick of the June 25th NBA Draft, continued his electrifying play with another 28 points and five 3-pointers as Indiana (1-3) outscored Orlando Blue (1-3) 32-22 in the final quarter. In three games this week, Young -- the reigning Pac-12 Player of the Year from Oregon -- has averaged 20.7 points per game while shooting 52.4 percent from the floor and 53.3 percent from 3-point range.
Harvey played well throughout and tried to rally Orlando in the closing minute. His layup off a turnover cut it to 87-84 with 26 seconds to play. But with the Magic trailing by four points, Harvey got a good look from the wing, but the ball rattled out.
``I thought that (shot) went down, but sometimes that happens and you just have to move on to the next shot,'' said Harvey, who averaged four 3-pointers a game last season and once drilled 10 in a game while starring at tiny Eastern Washington. ``It's been a great experience for me because I'm competing against the best every night and that's what I want. I've learned so much information.''
Romero Osby, a former second-round pick of the Magic, scored 12 points for Indiana.
Devyn Marble, who had his rookie season with the Magic cut short by a detached retina injury in his left eye, played well on Thursday with 22 points, five 3-pointers, seven rebounds and four steals. Marble has 12 steals in four games with half of them coming in last Saturday's overtime victory.
Orlando rested veteran players Aaron Gordon and Elfrid Payton and No. 5 pick Mario Hezonja on Thursday and none of the three will play on Friday either. Gordon, the No. 4 pick of the 2014 NBA Draft, showed tremendous progress during this week, averaging 21.7 points, 11.7 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.7 blocks a game.
``I think this was big for me because it put trust in my teammates, myself and the coaches,'' Gordon said. ``That's what it's really about is having everyone trust you and you trusting them.''
Payton and Hezonja both played two games during the week, with the 6-foot-8, 218-pound small forward showing flashes of greatness with a game-winning 3-pointer and two thunderous dunks. Hezonja's playing time was limited because he's already played 53 games in the Spanish League and Euro League, but he said that the Summer League action will help him in making the transition to the NBA.
``My first (mission) was to get great chemistry with the teammates,'' said Hezonja, who averaged 13 points in two games. ``I did that and I'm really happy about that. As for the games, the summer league is the summer league. But to be out here and get along with Elfrid and Aaron (was important). Now, I just need to work on every detail of basketball to get better.''
Indiana rested talented center Myles Turner, the No. 11 pick in the June 25 NBA Draft. Turner has been one of the best players in Orlando all week, averaging 18.7 points, 8.3 rebounds and 4.3 blocks a game. Indiana President of Basketball Operations Larry Bird stayed in Orlando all week to monitor Turner's play, and he liked what he saw enough to reportedly deal Roy Hibbert to the Los Angeles Lakers.
Indiana shook off a slow start and led 43-41 at the half. Young drilled three 3-pointers and scored 13 points early on to give the Pacers an early edge.
Getting his first extensive playing time of the week, Harvey showed why the Magic believed in him enough to be a second-round in the draft. Harvey, who led Division I in scoring (23.1 ppg.) and 3-point makes (four), was perfect in the first half by making all five of his shots and both of his 3-point shots and free throws. He added two assists to go with his 14 first-half points.

Bowman, Nichols rack up points in dominant Esks win

Matt Nichols set out to prove that not only could he hold down the fort with Mike Reilly injured but he can be relied on as a starter in the CFL. Albeit just one game, Nichols put the Esks early season back on course Thursday night.
The six-year veteran threw three touchdowns and the Green and Gold defence clamped down from the outset as the Edmonton Eskimos defeated the Ottawa REDBLACKS in a convincing 46-17 win.

Adarius Bowman led was Nichols' go-to target all night, leading all receivers with 5 catches for 120 yards and a touchdown.
Ottawa entered the game with an impressive second down conversion rate of 56% and on Burris’ first drive, he completed three passes on second-and-10 to set up a field goal attempt but Delbert Alvorado’s boot hit the right goal post and the opening drive came away without points.The REDBLACKS entered as the surprise story early on in the 2015 campaign, starting 2-0 after wins over Montreal and BC. Perhaps the biggest catalyst for the hot start on offence has been Henry Burris and his ability to keep the chains moving on second down.
Burris’ next drive started with better field position but ended with points coming the other way. On second down and medium to go the veteran pivot got flushed out of the pocket and while trying to salvage the play, threw the ball right into the waiting arms of Edmonton rookie DB John Ojo who tool it 57 yards untouched for the game’s first major.
After a quick two-and-out, Nichols took control of the Eskimos offence for his second possession of the night.
Nichols entered the night with only a handful of pro starts since joining the Eskimos in 2009. To say that Edmonton got off to an unexpected start to 2015 would be an understatement. A humbling loss to Toronto which saw Reilly go down to injury thrust Nichols into the spotlight in Week 3 after an early bye.
With the Esks scrimmaging at mid-field, Nichols led a solid 5-play, 52-yard drive with three completions to last season’s leading receiver Adarius Bowman. Bowman’s final catch of the drive was from 10 yards out which he hauled in for a touchdown to give Edmonton an early 14-0 advantage.
Despite the aforementioned success on second down, Ottawa entered the game as the only team not to register points in the first quarter through two weeks and staunch play by the Eskimos did little to buck the trend.
As the second quarter began, Nichols was working on another short field where a 20-yard rumble by veteran Calvin McCarty and a pass interference in the endzone set up a 1-yard plunge by backup quarterback Jordan Lynch.
The Northern Illinois grad’s major extended the Edmonton lead to 20-0.
Another two-and-out for Ottawa led to another score by the Eskimos.
Edmonton put the ball in the hands of receiver Nate Coehoorn and tailback Chad Simpson who set up a two-yard touchdown pass from Nichols to Kendial Lawrence who helped pile on a 26-0 advantage early in the second quarter.
Nichols steps in and steps up for Eskimos

For at least the first half of the season, the Edmonton Eskimos are Matt Nichols' team and he showed his club why panic shouldn't set in with Mike Reilly out.  Nichols was solid in his first start since September of last season passing for three touchdowns in the win 

The only blemish on Edmonton’s almost-perfect first half was two missed 32-yard converts by Grant Shaw. The Esks kicker redeemed himself on the next Eskimos possession, nailing a 46 yarder to put another three on the board.
The REDBLACKS eventually got on the score sheet but it was in the most unusual of plays. Nichols dropped back and looked to deliver a shovel pass but placed it right into the hands of Ottawa defensive lineman Zack Evans. The 6-foot-4, 295-pounder chugged 65 yards for the Ottawa major.
A successful two-point conversion that saw Burris spot Greg Ellingson cut the lead but the dent was brief.
Nichols answered three plays later with a sharp pass to Bowman for a huge gain and then a 9-yard touchdown strike to Cory Watson put the Esks up 36-11 heading into halftime.

The REDBLACKS opened up the second half with a ball-control drive that produced a field goal but Nichols went right back to work on an already comfortable lead.
The Esks’ pivot dropped a pass into Kenny Stafford who netted 36 yards off the reception and a penalty to Ottawa’s bench. Another big gain by Bowman set up Lawrence’s second touchdown of the day. This one, from 11 yards out on a pitch play to increase the lead to 43-15 midway through the third frame.
The two-minute mark of the third quarter signaled the end to Burris’ day as backup Danny O’Brien entered the game under centre for Ottawa.

Burris finished 20 of 37 for 162 yards and no touchdowns.
Good field position off a Nichols fumble allowed him to complete a dump pass to Chevon Walker for 16 yards and a swing pass to Maurice Price for 9 yards but couldn’t capitalize with the REDBLACKS in three-down territory.
Nichols exited the game as the fourth quarter start and a sizable lead as James Franklin took over the Eskimo offence from there.

The Eskimos will look to keep the roll going as these two teams meet up in the second half of a home-and-home next Friday in Ottawa.