Monday, July 9, 2018

Ayton And Suns Beat Bamba And Magic In Battle Of Bigs

No. 1 overall pick Deandre Ayton scored 17 points and grabbed 13 rebounds to help the Phoenix Suns defeat the Orlando Magic, 71-53, in Las Vegas Summer League at Cox Pavilion on Monday.
Offense never came easily to the Magic, who scored only 24 points in the first half. Phoenix had established a double-digit lead by the end of the first quarter, and only expanded its advantage from there. Orlando shot just 30.9 percent from the field and hit only three 3-pointers in the blowout loss.
Ayton asserted himself in the paint, grabbing five offensive rebounds and shooting 6-of-10 in the win. Third-year big man Dragan Bender added another 11 points, which came on 4-of-10 shooting.
For the Magic, sophomore forward Jonathan Isaac was the only player to score in double figures, as he tallied 10 points on the night. No. 6 overall pick Mohamed Bamba showcased his defensive prowess, finishing with two steals and five blocked shots.

Nuggets Win Close Battle With Bucks

The Denver Nuggets defeated the Milwaukee Bucks, 90-83, in the Las Vegas Summer League at Cox Pavilion on Monday.
While there were 10 ties and 13 lead changes in the first 22 minutes of action, Denver controlled the game from there. A 23-13 third quarter allowed the Nuggets to hold the lead for the entirety of the fourth quarter, as that was the only quarter decided by more than two points. Milwaukee really struggled late, missing its final six shots and committing two turnovers in the final two minutes of action. Turnovers were the difference in the game, with the Nuggets forcing 17 of them while committing just 11 on their end. Three-point shooting was also critical, with the Nuggets hitting 11-of-22 and the Bucks connecting on just 8-of-30 from range.
The Bucks (1-2) got a spectacular performance out of Sterling Brown, who collected 27 points, seven rebounds and three assists on 11-of-18 from the field. D.J. Wilson totaled 18 points, six rebounds and three assists. Christian Wood amassed 16 points and six boards. No other player on the roster had more than six points.
The Nuggets (3-0) were led by second-year guard Monte Morris’ 20 points, six rebounds and eight assists. DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell tallied 18 points, three rebounds, three assists and three steals. Vlatko Cancar led the bench with 13 points, two rebounds, two assists and two steals.
These teams will await playoff seedings to see who they play in the Summer League postseason starting on Wednesday.

Mavericks Too Big For Warriors

The Dallas Mavericks cruised to a 91-71 victory over the Golden State Warriors in the Las Vegas Summer League on Monday at the Thomas and Mack Center.
The Mavericks (2-1) controlled the game from the tip-off and blitzed the Warriors with a 14-0 run in the fourth quarter that sealed the win. Phil Greene led the way for Dallas with 14 points and shot an impressive 4-of-8 from beyond the arc. Former Louisville standout Ray Spalding chipped in with nine rebounds and eight points.
Golden State (1-2) never saw the lead, as the Warriors shot a sluggish 35.9 percent from the floor and struggled from beyond the arc, making only eight treys in 23 attempts. Without second-year forward Jordan Bell (shoulder) in the lineup, the Warriors were out-rebounded 55-34 and only saw double-digit scoring performances from Kendrick Nunn and Josh Magette, who each finished with 10 points.
This game concluded the first set of games for both teams, and both will now await seeding for tournament play, which begins Wednesday.

Celtics Dominate Hornets

The Boston Celtics defeated the Charlotte Hornets 100-80 in the Las Vegas Summer League at Cox Pavilion on Monday.
The first quarter really set the tone in this game, as Boston dominated from start to finish. The Celtics led 30-20 after the first and led by at least seven points for the duration of the final three quarters. Boston also dominated the final period, outscoring Charlotte, 32-22. The shooting disparity tells the story, with the Celtics hitting 52.8 percent from the field and 50 percent from three-point range, while holding the Hornets to just 38.1 percent from the field and 29 percent from deep. Defensive rebounding was also key for Boston, which won the rebounding battle, 33 to 22
The Hornets (2-1) were led by rookie forward Miles Bridges, who tallied 20 points and seven rebounds. Willy Hernangomez accrued 17 points, 11 rebounds, two steals and three blocks. Dwayne Bacon was the only other starter in double figures, amassing 11 points, four rebounds, four assists and two steals.
The Celtics (2-1) had seven players reach double figures in scoring. Jabari Bird led the starters with 16 points, three rebounds and five assists on 7-of-11 from the field. Semi Ojeleye finished with 13 points, seven rebounds and three assists, and Guerschon Yabusele totaled 14 points, eight rebounds and two assists. Former Iowa standout Jarrod Uthoff led the bench with 16 points and six boards. Trey Davis and Hassan Martin also reached double figures off the bench
Both teams will await seedings for the playoffs to see who they play next.

Wizards Cruises Past 76ers

The Washington Wizards started off strong and never trailed, cruising to an 87-75 win over the Philadelphia 76ers in the Las Vegas Summer League at Thomas and Mack Center on Monday.
The Wizards (1-2) established the tone for the contest with a 22-17 first-quarter advantage, and they’d expand their edge to 13 points by intermission. Although the 76ers came back to edge them by a 48-46 margin in the second half, Washington parlayed their early dominance to a relatively comfortable win.
The Wizards shot 41.7 percent and 84.6 percent from the field and free-throw line, respectively. The 76ers drained just 35.1 percent of their 74 attempts, including a 6-of-25 clip from three-point range. Philadelphia did boast one advantage on the stat sheet, winning the rebounding battle, 42-31.
Chris McCullough led the 76ers with 20 points in 22 minutes off the bench and also supplied eight boards and three blocks. Devyn Marble followed with 10 points, four rebounds and two assists. Jonah Bolden matched Marble’s scoring total and added nine boards, one assist and one steal. Cameron Oliver followed with nine points, six boards and one steal. First-round pick Zhaire Smith managed two points on 1-for-9 shooting, along with three assists, one rebound, one steal and one block.
Troy Brown, Jr. paced the Wizards with 23 points, adding eight rebounds and two assists. Devin Robinson provided 22 points on 80.0 percent shooting, while also posting two rebounds, two assists, one steal and one block. Thomas Bryant generated a 16-point, 12-rebound double-double that also included one assist, two blocks and one steal. Tiwian Kendley led the second unit with nine points.

Cavs Out Battles Pacers

The Cleveland Cavaliers defeated the Indiana Pacers, 93-88, in the Las Vegas Summer League at Cox Pavilion on Monday.
There were seven ties and seven lead changes in this tightly contested game, with neither club ever leading by double digits. With that said, Cleveland held the advantage for the entirety of the fourth quarter, as Indiana couldn’t get within a two-point margin. The second quarter was decisive for the Cavaliers, marking the only quarter decided by more than three points with Cleveland winning it, 26-18. Shooting was key for the Cavaliers, considering they hit 50 percent from the field and 35 percent from three-point range. They did that while holding Indiana to a 44.4 percent clip from the field and just 30 percent from long range. Ball movement was also critical for Cleveland, as they out-assisted Indiana, 17-11.
The Pacers (1-2) were led by T.J. Leaf, as he collected 20 points, nine rebounds and two blocks on 8-of-21 shooting. Edmond Sumner returned from injury and finished with 14 points, two assists and two steals. Aaron Holiday was extremely inefficient, as he tallied 12 points, five rebounds, eight assists and eight turnovers on 4-of-14 from the field.
The Cavaliers (2-1) got another gem out of Cedi Osman, who led the way with 25 points, six rebounds and six assists. Collin Sexton was the only other starter in double figures, accruing 21 points and four assists. Billy Preston led the bench with 12 points, four rebounds and two steals.
This marks the end of the Summer League regular season for both of these clubs and they now await seedings for the playoffs that begin on Wednesday.

Thunder Rolls Past Raptors With Threes

The Oklahoma City Thunder parlayed a strong pair of quarters into a 92-82 victory over the Toronto Raptors in the Las Vegas Summer League at Thomas and Mack Center on Monday afternoon.
The Thunder (2-1) came out of the locker room with a hot hand, putting up 31 points in a prolific opening period. The Raptors (0-3) were able to play a bit more competitively in the second quarter, but they still trailed by a 56-45 margin at intermission. OKC then essentially put the game away in the third quarter by expanding their advantage by another nine points, allowing them to cruise to an easy win.
The game featured only one tie and four lead changes, with the Thunder dominating the majority of the time. OKC’s 52.4 percent tally from the field – which included a 58.8 percent success rate from three-point range – spearheaded the victory.
OG Anunoby led the way for the Raptors with 19 points and he added six rebounds and two blocks. Malachi Richardson provided 17 points, three rebounds and one steal. Giddy Potts led the second unit with 15 points while also dishing out two assists, hauling in one rebound and recording a block. Codi Miller-McIntyre supplied eight points, eight assists, four rebounds and five steals.
P.J. Dozier and Rashawn Thomas paced the Thunder with matching 17-point tallies. Dozier also posted six rebounds, three assists and one steal, while Thomas registered 12 rebounds, an assist and a steal. Kevin Hervey led the bench with 12 points and also logged four rebounds, three assists and one steal. Dakari Johnson checked in with 10 points, two rebounds, one assist and three blocks.

Pistons Dominate Pelicans

The Detroit Pistons defeated the New Orleans Pelicans, 105-97, in the Las Vegas Summer League at Cox Pavilion on Monday.
This was a dominant performance from Detroit, as they led by at least eight points for the final three quarters. The tone was set in the first quarter, with the Pistons outscoring the Pelicans, 33-22. A strong showing in the final quarter by New Orleans was the only thing that made the final score respectable, considering Detroit led by 25 points at times during the contest.
The Pistons offense was unstoppable, connecting on 50 percent from the field and 41 percent from three-point range. Turnovers were also key, with Detroit winning that battle, 17-13.
The Pelicans (2-1) were led by Cheick Diallo, as he tallied 25 points and six rebounds. Walter Lemon Jr. accrued 14 points, three rebounds, seven assists and three steals. Shavon Shields collected 14 points, four rebounds, five assists and two steals. Trevon Bluiett led the bench with 13 points, three rebounds and three assists.
The Pistons (1-2) had 10 players score at least seven points, making Monday's win an all-around team effort. Henry Ellenson led the roster with 13 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists. Khyri Thomas amassed 12 points and two assists while Bruce Brown totaled 12 points and four boards. Zack Lofton led the bench with 10 points, two rebounds, two assists and two steals.
These teams will await seedings in the Summer League playoffs to see who they play next on Wednesday.

NBA Summer League Recap For July 8, 2018

Josh Hart Leads Lakers Past Bulls

Josh Hart scored 19 points to lead the Los Angeles Lakers to a 69-60 victory against the Chicago Bulls in the Las Vegas Summer League at Thomas and Mack Center on Sunday.
Hart was 5-of-15 from the field, but he sank 4-of-7 long-range attempts. He also added six rebounds, three assists and a steal in his second game in Vegas. Hart was expected to play one game each in the California Classic Summer League in Sacramento and in Las Vegas. He ended up playing two games in Sacramento earlier this week, as well.
The Lakers (2-0) nearly led wire to wire, as the Bulls (1-1) were unable to muster more than 17 points in any quarter. Los Angeles led by as many as 14 points, and in the fourth quarter, the Bulls could get no closer than seven points.
Chicago hurt its own cause with 18 turnovers and forced just one steal. No Bulls starter scored in double figures, as reserve Matt Williams Jr. scored a team-high 12 points. Wendell Carter Jr. had nine points, seven rebounds and four blocks. Chandler Hutchinson finished with seven points and eight rebounds.
Svi Mykhailiuk scored 15 points for the Lakers, while Nick King totaled 12 points and eight rebounds. Moritz Wagner added eight points, 14 rebounds, three steals and two blocks.
Both teams return to action Tuesday, with the Bulls facing the Atlanta Hawks and the Lakers playing the New York Knicks.

Clippers Win Tight Game Against Kings

The Los Angeles Clippers took control of a tight game in the fourth quarter to defeat the Sacramento Kings, 88-78, in the Las Vegas Summer League at Cox Pavilion on Sunday.
Tied 66-66 after three quarters, the Clippers outscored the Kings, 22-12, in the fourth quarter. The Kings made just six of 20 field-goal attempts in the quarter, scoring two points in the final 3:45, and committed four turnovers.
Sacramento was beaten on the boards, 47-38, grabbing just six offensive rebounds, and Justin Jackson, who scored a game-high 28 points, was the only King to make a 3-pointer. He was 4-of-7 from long range as his teammates went 0-of-10.
Fellow second-year man Frank Mason totaled 12 points and six assists for the Kings (0-2). Harry Giles added eight points and five rebounds. Zach Auguste finished with eight points and 10 rebounds.
Sindarius Thornwell paced the Clippers (1-1) with 22 points, six rebounds, four assists and a block. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander totaled 21 points, eight rebounds and three steals. Jawun Evans led the second unit with 10 points, five rebounds, two assists and two steals.
The Clippers battled the Houston Rockets on Monday, and the Kings play the Memphis Grizzlies on Tuesday.