Pierre Jackson had never played a game at the Thomas & Mack Center until Sunday. After having a tough time in his NBA Summer League debut for New Orleans, the former Baylor point guard from Las Vegas probably wished he were playing somewhere else in town.
Jackson, a Desert Pines High School product, made 1 of 7 shots and had four points in 17 minutes off the bench in the Pelicans’ 69-61 loss to Milwaukee.
He had three turnovers and three of New Orleans’ five assists as the Pelicans’ record fell to 1-1.
“I’m not going to lie to you — I was nervous,” said Jackson, who was drafted 42nd by Philadelphia last month, then traded to New Orleans as part of the Jrue Holiday deal. “I thought I did some good things; I made some good passes. But I know I can play a lot better.
“Everyone’s athletic at this level, and the IQ level is higher. But it was my first time out there and I’ll adjust.”
Usually a good on-the-ball defender, Jackson struggled to keep his man in front of him. He got burned several times by the Bucks’ Ish Smith, and even fellow rookie Nate Wolters was able to break him down.
“I think I was looking for the screens rather than guarding the ball,” Jackson said. “I know I’m better than I showed.”
Jackson was unable to join the Pelicans’ roster until Holiday’s deal had become official, which kept him out of Friday’s game against New York. But as a bonus, Jackson got to practice at his alma mater last week.
Jackson, a 2009 Desert Pines graduate, had his No. 5 jersey retired by the school, but it still is not displayed in the gym.
“It was nice to be back,” he said. “I got there early just to get some shots up and remember what it was like.”
Another Las Vegan had a rough day Sunday. Cheyenne product Elijah Johnson played 12 scoreless minutes for the Los Angeles Clippers in a 83-77 loss to the D-League Selects.
■ HARDAWAY OK — The Knicks got a scare when rookie guard Tim Hardaway Jr. landed hard on his left wrist in the second quarter of a 82-69 win over Washington in Cox Pavilion.
X-rays were negative, and Hardaway had nine points and three turnovers in 10 minutes. It’s not known whether he will play today against Charlotte.
■ ATTENDANCE UP — For the first three days, attendance is up 15 percent from last year, according to Albert Hall, summer league vice president for business operations. The league has attracted 16,181 fans, a daily average of 5,393.
■ ‘SPORTSCENTER’ IN VEGAS — ESPN has set up inside the Thomas & Mack for a “Live from the Summer League” portion of its “SportsCenter” telecasts. The segments run today through Thursday.
Contact reporter Steve Carp at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-387-2913. Follow him on Twitter: @stevecarprj.