Cleveland defeated Miami when LeBron James decided to sign with the Cavaliers last week.
Friday night’s 95-90 NBA Summer League victory over the Heat was just adding insult to injury.
Granted, neither team really cared a whole lot about the result. It just seemed a bit insulting of the Cavs to rub it in by beating them yet again this summer.
Steven Gray scored 17 points to lead the Cavaliers.Dwight Powell scored nine of his 15 points as Cleveland pulled away in the fourth quarter.
Former Fresno State guard Tyler Johnson paced the Heat with 20 points. The way he got there was even more impressive as he flashed much of the same athleticism he showed at Fresno State. Johnson had a couple highlight-reel dunks and hit a late 3-pointer as part of his 12-point fourth quarter.
Miami rallied late, but couldn’t convert on a 3-point attempt that could have tied the game in the final 15 seconds.
SORRY, FOLKS-Fans have flocked to see Cleveland, which includes the last two No. 1 overall picks in the draft, play in the NBA Summer League all week and Friday night was no exception.
League officials even decided to move the game to Thomas & Mack to accommodated those who wanted one last chance to see Andrew Wiggins and Anthony Bennett play.
Both players were given the “LeBron Bowl” off in a consolation round game that marked the conclusion of summer league play for both teams.
The fans who showed up to see Wiggins and Bennett began chanting for the players on several occasions, but it was clear they had been given the night off.
Cleveland was eliminated from championship contention on Thursday night.
NARROWING THE FIELD-Only eight teams remain as quarterfinal play begins today with four games at Thomas & Mack Center.
All remaining games will be played on that floor, with the semifinals Sunday and championship game on Monday to conclude the event.
All 16 teams in action on Friday were playing their final game.
SOLID GAME FOR ROSCOE-Former UNLV forward Roscoe Smith wrapped up his summer league experience for the Los Angeles Lakers with a solid performance on Friday.
Smith finished with seven points and five rebounds in 15 minutes of action in an 83-77 win over Denver.
After the game, Smith told a reporter he was unsure if he would be extended a training camp invite by the Lakers.
Smith, who left UNLV early to turn pro, said he does have a “Plan B.”
PARKER BREAKS OUT-Former Duke star Jabari Parker, the No. 2 pick in last month’s NBA Draft, had a huge game Friday as Milwaukee picked up its first win of the week.
Parker had 20 points and 15 rebounds in a 79-74 win over Golden State. He also led the team with two assists.
It was the third straight NBA Summer League loss for the Warriors, who had previously won 16 straight games in Las Vegas.
Come on, everybody needs a day off. Get out and enjoy the desert summer.
The Houston Rockets outscored Toronto 27-5 in the third quarter of a first-round NBA Summer League playoff game at Thomas & Mack Center Wednesday evening.
Even after that sensational 10 minutes of basketball, the Rockets still trailed 61-57.
That’s because Houston dug itself such a deep hole. Toronto led by as many as 29 points in the first half and took a 56-30 edge into halftime.
It was all Houston after that.
The Rockets outscored the Raptors by 20 in the fourth quarter to advance with a 93-77 victory.
Isaiah Canaan and Donatas Motiejunas each had 18 points for Houston. Andre Dawkins hit 9 of 10 free throws to finish with 13 points.
Former Findlay Prep and Arizona star Nick Johnson scored 12 points.
Dwight Buycks led all scorers with 24 points in the loss for Toronto.
ALSO-Justin Hamilton scored 18 points to lead six players in double-figures as Miami pulled away for a 96-87 win over the Clippers.
Scott Suggs scored 15 points and Frank Gaines added 13 points in the win.
Former UCLA standout Tyler Honeycutt had 11 points and 15 rebounds for the Heat. Larry Drew, another former Bruin, had 10 points and 10 assists for Miami.
Keith Benson scored 18 points tl lead the Clippers. DeAndre Liggins added 14 points.
The D-League Select team got 26 points from Tony Mitchell and 19 from Kevin Jones in an 87-75 win over Denver in the final game of the night at Cox Pavilion.
Defensively, the D-League squad held Denver to just 10 of 44 from the field in the first half.
Erick Green scored 17 points to lead the Nuggets. Former Michigan State star Gary Harris added 15 points.
Philadelphia capped the day with an 85-63 win over the Lakers at Thomas & Mack Center.
Former Cincinnati star Sean Kilpatrick broke out for 19 points for the 76ers, who also got 19 points from Elijah Milsap.
Jerami Grant had 11 points and seven rebounds.
Former New Mexico star Drew Gordon had eight points and 10 rebounds in the win.
Kevin Murphy and Julius Randle led the Lakers with 12 points each. Former UNLV forward Roscoe Smith had six points and three rebounds in 15 minutes of action.
Smith made a nice move to score a layup in transition and threw down a powerful dunk for two of his baskets.
Los Angeles went 3-for-23 from 3-point range in the loss.
MISSED OPPORTUNITY-Between the media room and the restroom in Thomas & Mack Center there is one of those hallways with blind doors on both ends.
You know the type of door.
There is traffic going both ways and if you’re walking down the hall toward where the door opens out, you will undoubtedly push it open right into someone just as they reach to pull from their side.
It happened to me tonight.
I pushed the door open, probably much harder than I needed to because I wasn’t thinking about it, and hit someone on the other side just as he was pouring popcorn from his cup into his mouth.
Of course, I felt bad and apologized as I walked by, but the damage was done.
Then, it hit me what had just happened.
I pushed a door into Grant Hill as he was eating popcorn.
In retrospect, I should have pulled the “Adam Hill, forward, Silverado High School, Class of ‘97,” move the annoying girl in the phone commercial did when trying to compare her basketball skills to Grant Hill.
Or even pulled a George Costanza when he tried to tell Jerry that he had an “in” if he ever met Jerry Lewis, because “they have the same name.”
Imagine just saying, “Hey Grant, we have the same last name,” and the utterly disgusted look he would have likely shot back at me.
In the end, I just said, “Sorry, sir. Sorry,” and shuffled away.
Probably the right choice.
EJECTION UPDATE-Earlier in the day, we pointed out the bizarre ejection of Ivan Johnson.
It appeared he simply stared at the referee and didn’t say a word.
Several courtside observers believed he was given the “Rasheed Wallace” treatment, getting tossed for staring at the official.
Even popular sports blog Deadspin wrote a post saying no words were exchanged.
New evidence has come to light.
Several members of the media who were closer to the play said that Johnson uttered the phrase, “Really (expletive)?”
That information can be confirmed by simply watching the clip and turning up the volume.
So that makes a little more sense.
The Hornets needed one big shot to avoid squandering a 17-point lead and losing in the first round of the NBA Summer League playoffs at Thomas & Mack Center on Wednesday afternoon.
Would they go to P.J. Hairston or Noah Vonleh?
Former Oregon State star Roberto Nelson went the length of the floor and hit a double-clutch 3-pointer from the wing over two defenders to give Charlotte an 82-81 win over Dallas.
Nelson hit 3 of 5 from 3-point range in the game and finished with 11 points. Hairston hit just 4 of 18 from the field, but finished with 18 points and five rebounds.
Vonleh had 14 points and 10 rebounds in the victory.
Gal Mekel had 17 points to lead the Mavericks in the loss. Ricky Ledo struggled from the field, hitting just 2 of 16 from the field for Dallas.
ALSO — Zach LaVine scored 20 points to help Minnesota advance with an 86-77 win over Phoenix in the first game of the day at Cox Pavilion.
Gorgui Dieng broke out with 13 points and 19 rebounds in the victory. Former Bishop Gorman and UCLA star Shabazz Muhammad had 16 points and nine rebounds in the victory as the Timberwolves advanced despite not winning any of their three regularly scheduled games this week.
T.J. Warren had 26 points in the loss for the Suns.
Miles Plumlee had 10 points and 12 rebounds.
San Antonio and Atlanta also advanced with victories on Wednesday afternoon.
The Hawks earned their first win of the week by holding off defending champion Golden State, 68-65.
James Michael McAdoo missed a pair of free throws for the Warriors with 14 seconds remaining and Golden State down by one.
Trevor Releford hit a pair of free throws on the other end for Atlanta and a potential game-tying 3-pointer from Justin Holiday was no good.
Both teams shot terribly from the field with Atlanta knocking down just 38.3 percent of its attempts and Golden State connecting at a 36.5 percent clip from the field.
Dennis Schroder had 17 points for the Hawks in the win. Releford and Mike Muscala each added 14 points.
Holiday had 15 points for the Warriors. Nemanja Nedovic scored 14 points in the loss.
The Spurs got 14 points from Kyle Anderson in a 100-71 rout of Milwaukee that kept the Bucks winless this week.
Giannis Antetokounmpo continued his impressive week with 20 points for the Bucks in the loss.
The “Greek Freak” added seven rebounds and blocked two shots. He added to his highlight reel this week with a drive around four defenders from the top of the key that resulted in a thunderous one-handed dunk.
Jabari Parker hit 10 of 13 from the free-throw line to finish with 16 points for Milwaukee, but the No. 2 pick from last month’s draft committed seven turnovers.
DON’T LOOK AT ME! — Dallas forward Ivan Johnson was thrown out of the game against the Hornets in the fourth quarter without saying a word.
After Charlotte scored a basket in the paint, Johnson appeared to be pushed into the basket stanchion by a Hornets player.
He sat up and turned to look at the referee as if to question why no foul was called.
Johnson, who played for Atlanta from 2011 to 2013 and spent last season in China, didn’t move for a few seconds as he just stared at the official.
That was enough. It was the Rasheed Wallace situation all over again.
The referee immediately made the motion to toss Johnson out of the game.
To his credit, Johnson didn’t appear to say anything as he walked off the court after the ejection.
Maybe he just saw it as an opportunity to get back to the pool sooner than his teammates.
OUCH — Last night we made the prediction that there would be carnage during Tuesday’s media night activities at Cox Pavilion.
As it turned out, most people emerged relatively unscathed.
There was a blogger that suffered an ankle injury during a rather aggressive move in a particularly heated game of knockout.
It was his own fault. His 3-pointer bounced way off the court and he was undoubtedly going to get eliminated.
He retrieved the ball and tried to sprint back to the basket and take out the next guy, who was trying to make a routine layup to knock out aggressive guy.
It didn’t work. Not only did he get eliminated, but he also got hurt trying to pull off the ridiculous maneuver.
Justice was also served as I got hurt after predicting mass injuries.
While there was about 30 people shooting around on each end of the gym and balls flying around causing total chaos, some genius decided to launch a one-handed half court line drive shot.
It clanged off the front of the rim and ricocheted off like a Justin Verlander fastball.
Only this ball found its target.
It hit me square in the face right under the basket, busting my glasses and cutting open my nose.
All was fine. Some guy who I assume or at least hope has some sort of medical training checked it out and said it wasn’t broken.
A headache and breathing trouble that linger today were the only lasting effects. That and the need for new glasses. Probably overdue for that anyway, so maybe this was a good thing.
A night after scorching the nets at the Thomas & Mack Center, Utah’s Rodney Hood went ice cold.
He hit 1 of 9 from the field and missed both 3-point attempts.
It didn’t matter, though, as the Jazz rolled to an 87-69 win over Denver in the final NBA Summer League game of the night at the T&M.
Ian Clark and Erik Murphy each scored 17 points to lead Utah. Australian rookie Dante Exum had six points, three rebounds and three assists.
Former Michigan star Trey Burke had 11 points, six rebounds and three assists. Former San Diego State player Malcolm Thomas finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Rudy Gobert did not play due to a sore shoulder.
Denver struggled to get anything going offensively.
Gary Harris and Quincy Miller combined to make 9 of 37 shots in the loss. Harris went 6-for-20 and Miller 3 of 17.
Harris went 5-for-5 from the free-throw line and led the team with 18 points. Erick Green had 13 points. Jerelle Benimon had nine points and 11 rebounds for Denver.
ALSO — T.J. Warren scored 28 points and had 11 rebounds to help Phoenix to a 97-88 win over Philadelphia at Cox Pavilion on Tuesday night.
Miles Plumlee, Archie Goodwin and Dionte Christmas each had 15 points for the Suns. Plumlee added 11 rebounds and blocked two shots.
Alex Len broke a finger on his right hand earlier in the week and will not play again in the summer league.
Former Tennessee forward Jordan McRae continued his strong play with 21 points on 7-for-11 shooting. Through three games, he is averaging 19.7 points for Phoenix.
Former Brigham Young star Brandon Davies had seven points, five rebounds and five assists in the loss.
PLAYOFFS? — Anytime you say the word, you obviously have to say it like Jim Mora.
But, yes, it’s time for the playoffs.
All the teams have played their three scheduled games and will be seeded from No. 1 to No. 24 for the tournament format, which begins Wednesday.
I’d explain the seeding process to you, but it’s bad enough I have that information in my head. There is no need to burden you with it.
Basically, teams are seeded by their record and a point system. Points were awarded for winning each quarter throughout the first three games.
Then a point is deducted for every time a player flopped to exaggerate an offensive foul. Another point was awarded to whichever team had the prettiest female fans in attendance, but an extra half-point could be earned for buying the most pretzels from the concession stand.
I made up that last paragraph.
It may as well be true.
The bottom line is nobody really cares about the seeding. Each team advances to the playoffs, so what does it matter?
GOOD GUY — Former Baylor star Isaiah Austin has been hanging around the summer league all week doing broadcast work for NBATV and Bleacher Report.
He was the likely first-round pick who was diagnosed with Marfan syndrome just before the draft and had to retire from basketball before his professional career began.
I had a chance to speak with Austin for a few minutes Tuesday afternoon. It’s truly amazing how well he is handling the hand he has been dealt.
This is a guy who was just days from making millions of dollars to play a game every night that without notice had that taken away.
I’m pretty sure I would spend at least the next three years complaining how life wasn’t fair.
Instead, he’s putting a smile on his face every day and figuring out what else he wants to do with his life.
He says he knows he will be successful no matter what he eventually decides to do.
Austin comes across as incredibly genuine and took the time to speak with and sign autographs for every kid that approached him in the concourse.
He’s definitely someone to root for.
SCARY MOMENT — A shooting took place at Fashion Show Mall on Tuesday evening. Details are still sketchy, but it did make for a frightening trip to the mall for at least one reporter.
NBA anchor Sage Steele of ESPN, who is in town covering the summer league, was shopping at the time of the shooting.
“Locked inside of Nordstrom at Fashion Show Mall in Las Vegas bc of a shooting..just heard several pops and screams..prayers up,” she Tweeted.
Check back at reviewjournal.com for updates on the incident.
MEDIA NIGHT — The regularly scheduled games have wrapped up. Teams will be seeded for the playoffs, which begin at 1 p.m. Wednesday at Cox Pavilion.
With the games over for the night, the NBA Summer League now prepares to host “Media Night.”
This will involve a series of shooting games and skills competitions for members of the media in town to cover this event.
There is no way this can go well.
We’ll try to provide any updates we can Wednesday, provided we’re not still laughing at the complete lack of ability of some of these people.
Should be fun.
NCAA Tournament magic does not carry over to the NBA Summer League.
At least that would be the hypothesis of anyone watching Shabazz Napier play Tuesday for the Miami Heat.
The former Connecticut star made just 2 of 16 shots in an 85-83 loss to Washington at Thomas & Mack Center.
He had one last shot at redemption, but a potential game-winning attempt from beyond the arc resulted in airball and provided one last humiliation.
Napier, a tournament hero in March and April, went 1-for-8 from 3-point range and hit just 3 of 6 from the free-throw line.
He made news earlier in the day by unfollowing LeBron James on Twitter and deleting all correspondences that mentioned the former Heat star who chose to sign with Cleveland last week.
Perhaps that was a distraction.
Glen Rice Jr. had 24 points to lead the Wizards. Former UNLV forward Khem Birch broke out with 11 rebounds after struggling a bit in that department in the first two games. He also made all three of his shot attempts and finished with seven points.
Former UNR star Deonte Burton did not score in five minutes of action.
ALSO — Donatas Motiejunas scored 15 points and Andre Dawkins added 14 points as Houston pulled away for an 83-60 win over the Clippers at Cox Pavilion on Tuesday.
Shawn Jones was the lone double-figure scorer for Los Angeles with 10 points.
EARLIER — The Atlanta Hawks and Minnesota Timberwolves both remained winless with losses to start the day on Tuesday.
Atlanta allowed 28 points to Portland’s C.J. McCollum as the Trailblazers cruised to a 91-76 win at Cox Pavilion.
McCollum made 10 of 16 shots, including a 6-for-9 performance from the 3-point line. Will Barton added 17 points for Portland.
Dennis Schroder had 16 points, four assists and four rebounds for the Hawks. Adreian Payne and Mike Muscala each had 13 points and seven rebounds.
Shabazz Muhammad went 3 for 15 from the field as the Timberwolves dropped to 0-3 with a 107-73 loss to Chicago.
Muhammad finished with 10 points.
The Bulls have clearly been one of the most impressive teams all week.
Doug McDermott had another strong game with 20 points.
Tony Snell had 12 points and four assists. His former New Mexico teammate Cameron Bairstow had 11 points and seven rebounds.
WHAT A STIFF! — John Wall has arrived in town, at least if Twitter reports are to be trusted.
He is an established star and of course is not playing in tonight’s Wizards game at Cox Pavilion.
If he were in action, he probably wouldn’t be getting any support from any service industry workers in attendance.
According to a cab driver popular on social media, Wall completely stiffed a limo driver in town today.
The following series of tweets from @LVCabChronicles are edited together to tell the story, which he says came directly from Wall’s female limo driver.
“So John Wall and his boy arrive at the Executive Terminal at the airport. Take limo to Aria and didn’t tip the driver. But, they forgot something at the airport. So Wall calls the limo driver and asks her if she can go back to the airport to retrieve the forgotten item. Reluctantly the driver returns to airport to grab his (stuff) and when she returns it to Wall, he stiffs her again! What a (jerk).”
It’s really obnoxious to not tip a driver in any circumstance. But when they go above and beyond the call of duty in a case like this, it is absolutely inexcusable.
QUOTABLE — The following quote did not come from summer league and was not directly obtained by the Review-Journal.
No, this is actually something the Miami Heat released on the team’s official Twitter feed.
That’s what makes it so hysterical. This was not some off-the-cuff comment.
We’re just going to put it out there and let it marinate in your head for a minute.
“Signing Luol Deng is one of the most important free agent signings that we have ever had in the history of the franchise.”
Monday night’s final game at Cox Pavilion proved to be the most dramatic of the summer league thus far.
It also marked the end of a remarkable streak.
Jordan Clarkson tipped in a missed jumper by Julius Randle as time expired to give the Los Angeles Lakers a 89-88 overtime win over Golden State.
The Warriors had won 16 straight NBA Summer League games in Las Vegas before the dramatic loss.
Justin Holiday appeared to have saved the streak when he hit a jumper from the top of the key to give the Warriors an 88-87 lead with 6.1 seconds remaining in the extra session.
It was ruled a two-point shot even though he looked to be beyond the arc. There is no replay in summer league.
Los Angeles was out of timeouts, but tried to sub in players, which is not allowed after a made shot unless a timeout is called.
The referees were confused, allowing the Lakers a chance to set up their offense.
“It was pure chaos on that final play,” Golden State coach Steve Kerr said.
Los Angeles got the ball to Randle in the corner, but his baseline jumper bounced off the rim. Clarkson was there to tip it in as the horn sounded.
Kerr, a first-year coach, said it was a good experience to be on the bench in this type of game.
“It was good to be in that type of situation where you have to think about matchups and who to put in the game and what you want to run there,” he said. “Absolutely, that was beneficial.”
Clarkson finished with 19 points and seven rebounds for the Lakers. Randle added 14 points and four rebounds.
Former UNLV forward Roscoe Smith had four points and a rebound for the Lakers. He had his body on two defenders in the lane when Clarkson tipped in the game-winner.
Holiday had another huge offensive game for the Warriors, finishing with 26 points. He scored all four of Golden State’s points in overtime.
Orlando Johnson added 16 points in the loss.
HE’S ON FIRE — If Rodney Hood was an NBA Jam character, his shots Monday night would have had a flaming tail on them and he would have had unlimited turbo.
The former Duke guard knocked down all four of his 3-point attempts in the third quarter and 7 of 10 in the game to finish with 29 points in Utah’s 87-71 win over Milwaukee at Thomas & Mack Center.
Every time Hood touched the ball, fans started yelling at him to shoot. He went 11-for-16 from the floor overall.
It was one of those nights.
At one point near the end of the third quarter, Hood hit three 3-pointers in a span of four possessions.
Brock Motum had 16 points and six rebounds for the Jazz. French center Rudy Gobert added 13 points and nine rebounds.
The Bucks got 15 points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals from Giannis Antetokounmpo. The “Greek Freak” has been one of the most impressive players all week.
Jabari Parker added 14 points and former UNLV forward Kevin Olekaibe entered the game in the final minute and hit a free throw for Milwaukee.
VEGAS LOVES JAZZ — Most Las Vegas sports fans know that the Utah Jazz did used to have a pretty strong presence in town.
There was a time Utah would even play a few home games in the city.
But Las Vegas is now widely thought to be a Lakers town.
That hasn’t been the case this week.
There is no doubt Utah Jazz fans have turned out in the largest numbers of any team. Utah fans once again filled up a large portion of the lower bowl of Thomas & Mack Center and cheered as if it were a regular-season game.
At least they seemed like Utah fans. Maybe they are just Heat fans looking for a new team now that LeBron is gone.
NOCHE LATINA — The popular Latin Night promotion celebrated throughout the NBA as “Noche Latina” was extended to the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas Monday night.
A mariachi band roamed the concourse throughout the evening delighting fans with each performance.
Whoever the dude was they picked to perform at halftime of the Utah-Milwaukee game did not go over as well.
The man, who was announced as a Puerto Rican superstar, did some combination of dancing, singing and rapping that clearly wasn’t capturing the attention of the crowd.
The fans gave him about three minutes, but the patience wore thin quickly.
A small chorus of boos grew louder and louder until it was very evident what was happening.
To his credit, the performer just kind of looked into the camera and shrugged with a smile.
It was difficult not to feel bad for the guy who seemed like everyone’s weird grandpa who just wants to put on a show, but nobody cares enough to pay attention.
I’d like to credit him by name for fighting through a tough performance, but it was impossible to hear his name over the boos.
PRIZE UPDATE — Earlier in the day, there was a half-court shot winner.
At the time, I had no idea what the prize was for the guy that hit it.
I promised to bring you answers and by gosh, I have done so.
Anyone who hits the half-court shot gets a $100 gift card to NBAStore.com.
So there you go.
Constant mentions of NBAStore.com to the crowd here at Thomas & Mack and Cox Pavilion are worth, what, several thousand bucks?
Then, if someone does manage to get lucky and hit a half-court shot, they give away $100 to use at said site.
Seems like a good deal.
Former N.C. State point guard Lorenzo Brown hit a jumper and a pair of free throws to help the Clippers secure a 91-85 win over Miami in an NBA Summer League game at Thomas & Mack Center on Monday night.
Los Angeles led 86-85 when Brown hit a jumper from just beyond the free-throw line with 45 seconds remaining. After an empty possession for the Heat, Brown hit a pair of free throws to extend the lead.
Oklahoma alum Amath M’Baye scored 27 points, including a highlight-reel finish on an alley-oop early in the fourth quarter. Brown had 22 points and four assists.
NBA veteran Delonte West added a late free throw and finished with 12 points.
Scott Suggs had 14 points to pace the Heat. Shabazz Napier made just 2 of 8 shots to finish with eight points and one assists.
ALSO — The good week continued for the Cleveland Cavaliers with an 86-77 win over Philadelphia at Cox Pavilion.
Cleveland is now 3-0 in summer league and also signed some free agent that seems to have people excited.
Former UNLV and Findlay Prep star Anthony Bennett, the top pick from the 2013 draft, continued his strong play with 14 points and four rebounds.
The No. 1 pick in last month’s draft, Andrew Wiggins, had 10 points and three steals. Matthew Dellavedova led the Cavaliers with 19 points. Shane Edwards, from Arkansas-Little Rock, scored 14 points on just three shots from the field. He made one basket and hit 12 of 13 from the free-throw line.
Jordan McRea had 18 points and four steals for the 76ers in the loss. Former BYU star Brandon Davies scored 10 points.
EARLIER — Jeremy Tyler scored 19 points to help the New York Knicks remain unbeaten in three games with a 95-72 win over Charlotte.
Tim Hardaway Jr. and Langston Galloway each scored 17 points in the win.
Cody Zeller and P.J. Hairston each scored 18 points for the Hornets, who remained winless.
All five starters scored in double-figures for Sacramento in an 89-75 win over the D-League Select team.
Ben McLemore had 18 points to lead the Kings.
Derrick Williams had 17 points and last month’s first-round pick Nik Stauskas added 15, making 3 of 4 from 3-point range.
Ray Mccallum had 10 points and 12 assists for Sacramento.
Devin Ebanks, a double-overtime hero on Sunday, scored 22 points in the loss.
Ricky Ledo had 18 points and five assists to help Dallas cruise to an 88-57 win over Toronto.
The Raptors made just 30 percent of their shots in the loss.
DeAndre Daniels led Toronto with 16 points. Las Vegas native Darington Hobson went 1-for-7 from the field to finish with three points.
In the closest game of the day thus far, Jeff Ayres hit a reverse layup with 6.3 seconds remaining to help San Antonio to an 88-86 win over New Orleans.
The Pelicans had grabbed a lead on a 3-pointer by DeQuan Jones with 37 seconds remaining, but Ayres answered with the basket and was fouled on the play.
The free throw gave the Spurs the final margin.
Austin Daye had 18 points and 11 rebounds in the win. Darius Morris paced the Spurs with 19 points.
Jones scored 20 points and Russ Smith added 14 points and 10 assists. Courtney Fells also scored 19 points.
NAILED IT — One of the promotions that has been very common here at the summer league is a fan attempting a half-court shot at halftime.
Actually, each selected fan gets two shots from midcourt.
Some of them have come quite close. Others have been just awful.
Someone finally knocked one down.
A fan who said he came from Miami just for the summer league drained it on his first try.
I have probably heard the promotional announcement 12 times at this point, but I have absolutely no idea what the prize is for hitting the shot.
We’ll try to find out.
More importantly, is it possible to be such a big fan of a team that you travel for the sole purpose of attending summer league?
In fairness, he probably booked everything before LeBron left.
You know, back when the Heat had fans.
IS SOMEONE READING? — Based on the emails and comments, most of the poeple reading this summer league blog are either fellow journalists or folks from Missoula angry at my slight of the city.
The readership actually might extend to whoever is in charge of food in the media room.
For the first time at this event, there was actually food in the work room.
It was hot dogs, but hey, it was sustenance.
Again, nobody is complaining. There are those who regarded yesterday’s post as whining. It is not.
It’s called comedy.
I guess sometimes they can be one in the same.
But just in case somebody was reading and is going to take action again, what the media room really could use is sushi and a keg.
Former UNLV forward Khem Birch converted a late 3-point play in traffic to help Washington hold off Minnesota 67-59 in the final NBA Summer League game of the day late Sunday night at Thomas & Mack Center.
Birch, who left UNLV early only to go undrafted last month, finished with his left hand over several defenders, then made the free throw. He had eight points and six rebounds in the victory after failing to corral a single board in his debut on Saturday.
Birch also blocked four shots, including a rejection of an attempted dunk by Shabazz Muhammad.
Glen Rice Jr. paced the Wizards with 20 points.
Alexey Shved had 16 to lead the Timberwolves. Muhammad, a former Bishop Gorman and UCLA star, was limited to four points in 15 minutes of action.
ALSO-Seth Curry scored 26 points in just 22 minutes of action to help the Phoenix Suns pull away in a 93-82 win over Milwaukee at Cox Pavilion.
Phoenix outscored the Bucks 35-16 in the fourth quarter.
Another former Duke standout, Miles Plumlee had six points and 12 rebounds in the win.
Their college teammate Jabari Parker had 11 points and 11 rebounds for Milwaukee. Parker made just 4 of 15 shots from the field.
Giannis Antetokounmpo and Nate Wolters each had 16 points in the loss.
Former UNLV guard Kevin Olekaibe did not play for the Bucks.
EXPANSION? — The summer league provides a look at the future of the NBA in as far as young talent.
Did it also give a look at a new expansion team coming to the league?
Actually, definitely not.
It was simply a mistake on the scoreboard.
The operator mistakenly had the Bucks playing the “Sunsets” in the final game at Cox Pavilion on Sunday.
Clearly, it was good luck.
Phoenix may want to look into changing the name permanently.
GOTCHA! — First of all, this is not a post aimed at making anyone feel bad for the media.
The endless complaints by people paid to watch sports for a living are nauseating. Don’t ever give them any credence. The majority of the media are just spoiled, whiny brats.
That being said, there is quite a quandary this week as many people covering the event are running back and forth between the gyms for 10 hours per day or more and there is really no place to get food.
It’s odd, actually, because meals are served for the media at sporting events all around the country when most people covering the game are only there for about four or five hours.
That’s silly. It’s a practice that could easily be stopped.
Yet at this event, where the media is basically stuck here for an entire day, there is nothing.
That’s beside the point.
This story is about what happened when there actually was a large serving of appetizers placed in the media room on Sunday evening.
The food was swarmed upon like a lone female at a bar full of drunk dudes.
Onion rings, cheese sticks, fried mushrooms and fried zucchini all thrown together on a platter to be devoured by starving writers, broadcasters and bloggers.
Wait, fried zucchini?
That particular item looked just like the cheese sticks, which led to quite a problem.
The look of utter disappointment and confusion on the face of media members hoping to enjoy a cheese stick and instead biting into zucchini was reminiscent of what people looked like just after the final scene of “The Sopranos.”
Eventually, they must have figured it out because when workers took away the tray it was full of nothing but some fried zucchini scraps with everything else devoured like the goat in the T-Rex enclosure at Jurassic Park.
One of the great quirks of summer league was on full display at the Thomas & Mack Center on Sunday afternoon in a game between Atlanta and the D-League Select team.
If a game is tied, the teams play a two-minute overtime. When that doesn’t determine a winner, things get fun.
The second overtime session becomes a sudden death scenario where the first team to score wins.
It would be a ridiculous way to do things in the regular season, but hey, this is summer league.
Sudden death basketball is really fun.
The teams traded sloppy possessions before a mad scramble for the ball had bodies flying all over the place.
It looked like Atlanta was going to win, but what appeared to be an obvious goaltending was not called by the officials.
The Hawks had every right to argue the no-call, but do we really want a sudden death summer league overtime session to be decided on a goaltend?
There’s too much at stake here.
So they played on and the Hawks made a mistake at the other end.
Dennis Schroder tried to make a save on the baseline, but he threw it behind his back to Devin Ebanks.
The former West Virginia star and Los Angeles Lakers forward layed it in for the game-winning basket. Ebanks finished with 16 points. Tony Mitchell’s team-high 20-point game included several of the monster dunks he has become known for in the D-League.
Schroder, a 2013 lottery pick perhaps inspired by his native Germany winning the World Cup earlier in the day, was having a great day right up until the final play.
He scored a game-high 30 points to go along with four rebounds and four assists for the Hawks. His eighth turnover proved costly, however.
Bucknell alum Mike Muscala had 15 points and 15 rebounds for Atlanta.
McBUCKETS REBOUNDS — First-round pick Doug McDermott was a bit underwhelming in his NBA Summer League debut on Saturday night.
He was whatever the opposite of that is on Sunday evening.
McDermott, affectionately dubbed “Dougie McBuckets” in the college basketball blogosphere, showed why he is one of the top scorers in NCAA history with 31 points in a 103-76 win over Denver.
The Nuggets originally drafted McDermott before dealing him to Chicago on draft night.
He wouldn’t admit to revenge playing a major role in his breakout game.
Instead, he pointed to the game slowing down a bit after things seemed to happen so fast in the opener.
McDermott made 7 of 12 shots from the field, including a 5-for-9 effort from the 3-point line. He also sank all 12 free-throw attempts.
He had some help from former New Mexico star Tony Snell, who scored 23 points. Snell needed 22 shots to get there, but he did make 5 of 12 from beyond the arc.
He is joined on the team by two former college teammates. Cameron Bairstow had six points and six assists and Kendall Williams added six points.
Quincy Miller scored 26 points to lead the Nuggets.
ALSO — C.J. McCollum scored 19 points to lead the Portland Trail Blazers to a 75-67 win over the Houston Rockets at Thomas & Mack Center on Sunday night.
Will Barton had 15 points and Thomas Robinson had 14 points and 12 rebounds in the victory.
Former Findlay Prep and Arizona star Nick Johnson had 16 points in the loss for Houston.
NO LOVE FOR THE LO-BULLS? — Chicago’s strong summer league performance thus far has been buoyed by the strong play of three former New Mexico players.
While Lobo fans have to be thrilled watching, at least one Bulls executive has mixed feelings.
Assistant GM Randy Brown attended New Mexico State.
Geoff Grammer of the Albuquerque Journal talked to Brown about what it was like watching the three Lobos play on the court all at the same time.
“Makes my skin crawl. But then I’m OK with it if they’re helping the Bulls win,” Brown said, according to a tweet from Grammer.
Ra’shad James hit back-to-back 3-pointers midway through the fourth quarter to help Sacramento to a 72-65 win over Charlotte at Cox Pavilion on Sunday afternoon.
The guard out of Northwood University in Florida scored 12 points to lead a group of five double-figure scorers for the Kings.
Ben McLemore and MarShon Brooks each had 11 points. Nik Stauskas and Quincy Acy each finished with 10.
The Kings were, however, dominated on the glass. The Hornets outrebounded Sacramento 47-30 in the game.
Lottery pick Noah Vonleh had 10 points and 18 rebounds for Charlotte. Former San Diego State forward Josh Davis had six points and 16 boards.
Troubled guard P.J. Hairston showed why teams were willing to look past his off-court issues, pouring in 22 points in the loss while showcasing a variety of offensive moves. He knocked down 6 of 13 from 3-point range.
NOT-SO-FREE THROWS — Anybody who has any doubts about Stauskas’s shooting ability needs to look no further than YouTube.
There are several videos showing off his amazing accuracy in his backyard back home in Canada.
All that practice translated on the court at Michigan, as well. His numbers were phenomenal, especially at the free-throw line.
Stauskas made 83.2 percent of his free throws in college and 44.1 percent of his 3-point attempts.
The free-throw line is supposed to be the same distance in the NBA, but Stauskas seemed to have all kinds of issues from the line on Sunday.
He made just 2 of 6 and never looked at all comfortable.
Maybe it was too warm in the gym.
CROWD GOES WILD — Of course, fans have been thrilled by all of the big-name rookies taking the floor this week.
Andrew Wiggins got a nice pop, as did Jabari Parker.
The local players are fan-favorites as well.
Every time Anthony Bennett, Khem Birch or Roscoe Smith have taken the floor, they have gotten a steady stream of applause.
Same goes for any other player with UNLV, local high school or really any Mountain West affiliation.
The single biggest roar of the week for a player entering the game was saved for the biggest player in summer league.
Former New Mexico State center Sim Bhullar entered the game for the Kings in the second quarter to the roaring approval of the Cox Pavilion crowd.
The 7-foot-5, 360-pounder had little impact on the game, however. He committed a foul and blocked a shot, but did not get a rebound or attempt a shot in 3:30 of action.
While the eyes of the world were on the best athletes from Germany and Argentina early Sunday afternoon, some of Canada’s finest were putting in work at Cox Pavilion.
Andrew Wiggins, the top pick in last month’s NBA Draft, and last year’s No. 1 pick Anthony Bennett, had solid games as Cleveland rolled to an 82-70 win over San Antonio in the first NBA Summer League game of the day.
Bennett, a former UNLV star, had 13 points and 14 rebounds. He appears to be in the best shape of his life and it showed in his performance.
He was smooth and active on both ends of the floor.
Wiggins struggled with his shot, making just 3 of 11 attempts from the field, but he did get to the free-throw line eight times and score 13 points.
DeShaun Thomas also had 21 points for the Spurs in the loss.
LAKERS STRUGGLES CONTINUE — The Los Angeles Lakers are coming off a miserable season and have done very little to improve thus far in the free agency period.
Things aren’t going much better in summer league.
The Lakers dropped to 0-2 with a 90-73 loss to New Orleans at Thomas & Mack Center.
Former N.C. State guard Courtney Fells scored 25 points to lead the Pelicans. He made 9 of 13 shots, including 4 of 6 from 3-point range. Russ Smith had six points and eight assists, but committed six turnovers.
Trey Thompkins was one of the few bright spots of the day for the Lakers, scoring 18 points on 7 of 9 shooting.
Former UNLV forward Roscoe Smith played 3:48. His lone impact on the box score was a foul.
JERSEY BORE — Will Cherry paced the Cavaliers with 21 points. He’s not Canadian, but did attend college at Montana, which is close enough.
He probably wouldn’t admit this now, but Cherry listed his favorite television show as “Jersey Shore” on his college bio.
When you’re stuck in Missoula, Seaside, N.J. probably seems like a pretty exotic locale.
Still, unless you’re related to Snooki or J-Woww, nobody is admitting to watching that show anymore.
CAN YOU SIGN THIS? — One of the nice things about the event is all the access kids have to their favorite players, both those playing in the games and the ones here to watch.
There is even scheduled autograph signing sessions throughout the week.
It’s great to see the smiles on all the little kids’ faces as someone puts ink to a piece of paper or some piece of memorabilia.
It’s also a great money-making opportunity.
There is actually a stand in the concourse between the two arenas specializing in selling sharpies.
Talk about brilliant direct marketing.
No LeBron? No problem.
The Miami Heat got 21 points from Justin Hamilton in a 92-81 win over Houston in a Saturday night game at Cox Pavilion.
Hamilton made 9 of 12 shots, including his only 3-point attempt. He also had seven rebounds and blocked five shots in the win.
Isaiah Canaan led Houston with 16 points. Former Findlay Prep and Arizona star Nick Johnson had 11 points and six assists.
NIGHTCAP-Jordan McRae and Sean Kilpatrick each scored 20 points to lead Philadelphia to a 74-70 win over Utah in the final game of the night at Thomas & Mack Center.
Elijah Milsap hit a pair of free throws with 5.1 seconds remaining to put the game out of reach for the 76ers.
Former San Diego State forward Malcolm Thomas led the Jazz with 13 points. Trey Burke had 11 for Utah.
SUMMER LEAGUE UNCENSORED — For the most part, the NBA Summer League is a great family event.
Kids are all over both gyms looking bright-eyed at the talent on the floor and the random superstars checking out the games from the stands.
The choice of music may not be so conducive to family fun, however.
During several breaks on Saturday, the sound system busted out the rhythmic sounds of Too Short’s hit, “Blow The Whistle.”
For those that aren’t plugged in to the rap scene, he’s not talking about the device used by officials.
I’m not complaining. I love hip-hop.
Parents might not feel the same way if they were actually paying attention.
COMPLAINT DEPARTMENT — We have reached a point in society where people will pretty much complain about anything.
Most people have come to accept that premise.
Still, it was tough not to be taken aback by one particular customer at the concession stand late Saturday night.
An NBA agent bought a bottle of water and made it immediately clear the purchase was not to his satisfaction.
He informed the young man working the stand the water was too cold.
The confused worker looked around to try to solve the problem, but was clearly confused.
Eventually, the customer asked for a water that hadn’t yet been placed in the refrigerator.
All was well in the world.
Justin Holiday grabbed an offensive rebound and tossed in a reverse layup with 3.1 seconds remaining to give the Golden State Warriors a 74-72 win over Phoenix at Cox Pavilion on Saturday night.
Most importantly, the shot helped keep the streak alive.
Golden State has now won 16 straight summer league games in Las Vegas.
Holiday, a guard out of Washington, finished the game with 29 points and 13 rebounds in the win.
Former UC Santa Barbara star Orlando Johnson was the only other Warrior in double-figures. He finished with 10 points.
T.J. Warren paced the Spurs with 22 points in the loss.
LO-BULLS — Mountain West basketball fans may want to get out to summer league to watch the Chicago Bulls.
Fans of New Mexico would be particularly interested.
Three former Lobos are playing for Chicago in the event.
Tony Snell had by far the best game on Saturday.
Snell scored a game-high 27 points in an 86-70 victory over the Clippers.
Cameron Bairstow also started for Chicago, finishing with eight points and six rebounds.
It was not such a great professional debut for Kendall Williams. The former New Mexico point guard played just 2:17 of garbage time and failed to score.
By the way, full credit on the “Lo-Bulls” nickname goes to Geoff Grammer of the Albuquerque Journal, who was courtside covering the game.
WHERE’S HE BEEN? — With all of the LeBron James news over the last few days, it’s only fair to get a Delonte West update.
The 30-year-old point guard is playing with the Clippers in summer league. He started at point guard and finished with four points and an assists in 23 minutes of action.
West last played in the NBA with Dallas in the 2011-12 season and spent last year playing in China.
He is famous both for applying for a job at Home Depot during the NBA lockout and an internet rumor involving James’ family that won’t go away.
If you haven’t heard it, just Google West. It will undoubtedly be one of the first items that pops up.
SIGN THAT KID — The halftime entertainment during the game between the Bulls and Clippers involved a quick scrimmage featuring the Coronado High School girls basketball team.
An added attraction was a local 10-year-old girl who is certainly a prodigy.
She displayed terrific ball handling skills and a shooting form far beyond her years.
The girl poured in six baskets for her team and wowed the crowd with her skills and speed.
But she didn’t show much willingness to dish the rock. Her teammates may as well have hung out on the defensive end of the floor because they sure weren’t getting the rock.
Come on, kid. We get it. You’re good.
But there’s more to the game than just scoring.
Nobody has ever had to tell Shabazz Muhammad to shoot the ball since he stepped foot on a basketball court.
The former Bishop Gorman and UCLA guard has never been shy about asserting himself on the offensive end.
Muhammad certainly wasn’t shy in his first appearance in the 2014 Vegas Summer League on Saturday afternoon at Thomas & Mack Center.
He made 10 of 24 shots, including 2-for-3 from 3-point range, in Minnesota’s 93-85 loss to Dallas.
Muhammad finished with a game-high 27 points despite not scoring at all in the third quarter.
He credited a familiarity with the process entering his second season in the league. Muhammad struggled to find playing time and was eventually assigned to the D-League for a brief time.
Muhammad said he felt none of the jitters Saturday he experienced last season playing in the summer league, a sign he could be getting more comfortable as a professional.
His efforts weren’t enough to help Minnesota earn a victory, however, as Bernard James and Ricky Ledo each scored 21 points for Dallas.
HARRIS ERUPTS — Over in Cox Pavilion, former Michigan State star Gary Harris scored 30 points to help lead Denver to a 104-83 win over Toronto on Saturday afternoon.
Quincy Miller added 23 points for the Nuggets.
Denver scored 60 points in the first half and rolled to the easy victory.
FAMOUS FACE? — Former WNBA star Lisa Leslie entered the gym in the first quarter to catch a few minutes of summer league action.
She led a group of three friends down to the front-row seats reserved for dignitaries.
A diligent security guard, who clearly didn’t recognize the three-time WNBA MVP and four-time Olympic gold medalist, sprung into action to prevent the group from sitting there.
She unsuccessfully tried to explain who she was to no avail.
Then, a group of fans started shouting at Leslie seeking photos and autographs.
Apparently, that was the secret password and Leslie’s group was allowed to sit down.
They stayed for no more than five minutes.
HAPPY TRAILS — A heckler was surrounded by four members of the arena’s security detail and escorted from the building midway through the first quarter of the game between Minnesota and Dallas.
He protested his ejection, but eventually left peacefully to a hearty round of applause from fans in the area.
The guy was quite loud, but he was more weird than profane.
While D.J. Kennedy was shooting free throws, he just constantly and loudly chanted “J.F.K.”
It really made no sense.
He would also not stop chanting “C.J., C.J., C.J.,” on every Dallas possession, apparently hoping for the ball to be given to C.J. Fair.
Most objections seemed to stem from the fact that the dude just wouldn’t shut up.
Sadly, C.J. Fair scored almost immediately after the guy had been walked out of the arena.
There were no lasers or fireworks and the bombastic voice of longtime UNLV public address announcer Dick Calvert was nowhere to be heard.
Yet former Rebel standout Khem Birch got a bit nostalgic as he stepped on the floor at Thomas & Mack Center on Saturday.
He even admitted to nearly shedding a tear.
Birch got the start for the Washington Wizards, scoring three quick baskets and finishing with eight points in a 90-74 Vegas Summer League win over Atlanta.
It’s not what he expected in his professional debut.
Birch didn’t expect to score a point. He figured he’d get a couple rebounds and maybe block a shot or two, but the points were a welcome surprise.
The disappointment came from the zero in the rebounding column. Birch failed to secure even one, though he did block two shots in the game.
NBA veteran Sam Cassell, who is coaching the Wizards summer league team, expects that to change as the league continues. He said Birch has been pulling down every loose ball in practice.
He was also over-aggressive defensively as Birch committed eight fouls in the loss.
A pair of veterans helped make sure Birch’s lack of rebounding didn’t matter to the outcome. Otto Porter scored 25 points and Glen Rice Jr. added 22 to help the Wizards pull away by outscoring Atlanta 55-33 in the second half.
Former Michigan State star Adreian Payne led the Hawks with 12 points.
SLOW START — Former UNR standout Deonte Burton, a teammate of Birch with the Wizards, didn’t have the professional debut he wanted.
Burton never got off the bench in the first half and played just 8:34 of the second half.
He went 1-for-3 from the field, hitting a late 3-pointer for his only points. Burton added two rebounds and turned the ball over twice.
HOT START — The New York Knicks became the first team to start the 2014 Vegas Summer League 2-0 with a 71-69 win over the Portland Trail Blazers at Cox Pavilion.
Shane Larkin hit a running jumper in the lane with less than 30 seconds remaining to lift the Knicks to the victory.
Tim Hardaway Jr. had 20 points to lead New York after he scored 25 points in Friday’s win.
Portland was led by Thomas Robinson with 17 points. C.J. Mccollum added 16 in the loss.
PARENTAL DRAMA — A man wearing a media credential was lectured by security for leaving his child unattended while the father went to get a bottle of water and a snack.
The kid, who appeared to be about 5 or 6, was alone for about 10 minutes in the front row at Thomas & Mack.
Upon returning, a veteran security guard instructed the man he should not leave the child unattended.
The guy responded, brilliantly, that he wasn’t alone because there were plenty of people in the arena.
The 50 or so people who stuck around inside the Thomas & Mack Center until the bitter end of the first day of Vegas Summer League action Friday night were treated to a great game.
New Orleans went on a 21-2 to close the game in an 83-81 win over the D-League Select team.
Josh Carter hit a 3-pointer from the left wing with 3.1 seconds remaining to give the Pelicans the victory. New Orleans went on an 18-0 run to grab an 80-79 lead in the final minute, only to allow an offensive rebound and dunk by Bryan Davis.
Carter answered with the game-winner.
Former Louisville star Russ Smith had 20 points, nine rebounds and five assists in the victory. He scored 10 of his 20 points in the final quarter to key the rally.
Patric Young, a former center at Florida, had 11 points and 13 rebounds.
Former Laker Devin Ebanks had 15 points and 13 rebounds for the D-League team.
SPURS SUCCESS CONTINUES-San Antonio had a magical June.
The Spurs showed they could play a little bit in July, as well.
Austin Daye had 14 points and nine rebounds as San Antonio cruised to an 85-69 win over Sacramento in Vegas Summer League action on Friday night at Cox Pavilion.
Bryce Cotton and Darius Morris each added 12 points in the win.
Nik Stauskas, a first-round pick out of Michigan, and Quincy Acy each scored 14 points for The Kings.
EFFECTIVE MINUTES-Former Iowa State standout Melvin Ejim had an impressive six points and six rebounds in just 13:24 for the Spurs.
Those numbers didn’t stand out nearly as much on the boxscore as the plus/minus number.
San Antonio outscored Sacramento by 22 points in the less than 14 minutes Ejim was in the game.
That’s how you make a roster.
OH, NOAH-Former Indiana star Noah Vonleh shot up the draft boards, mostly due to what the scouts love to call his “measurables.”
Here’s an easy measurement for you: 0-for-13.
That was what Vonleh shot from the field Friday night in Charlotte’s 70-58 loss to Golden State at Thomas & Mack Center.
Vonleh was the ninth pick of the Hornets in the first round of last month’s draft.
This was not the impression he was hoping to make in his summer league debut.
Cleveland Cavaliers coach David Blatt made some shocking statements following his first summer league game on Friday night at Cox Pavilion, mere hours after learning LeBron James has signed with his team.
Brace yourself, you’re not going to believe it.
Blatt said he was looking forward to working with James and that it would be an honor to be a part of the superstar’s historic return to Cleveland.
Then Blatt said Miami sucks and that he’s a far better coach than Erik Spoelstra.
At least I think that’s what he said. Who knows? I couldn’t hear anything.
It was impossible to get anywhere near the guy with every person who has ever carried a notepad or a laptop into an NBA arena jammed around Blatt in a far corner of the gym after his team escaped with a 70-68 victory over Milwaukee in the Vegas Summer League.
Blatt, one of very few head coaches actually taking the sidelines in the summer league, was obviously a star attraction for the media. The first-year coach had learned just hours earlier that his first NBA assignment would be to coach the world’s best player in his return to Cleveland.
There was a similar mob of cameras, microphones and reporters around Anthony Bennett, last year’s No. 1 pick out of UNLV, who wrapped up his first summer league game with 15 points and seven rebounds.
Forget even trying to talk to Andrew Wiggins after his 18-point night. Even Matthew Dellavedova was mobbed.
Such is the climate around the Cleveland Cavaliers at the moment. Anybody who is even associated with the team, and thus LeBron-a-mania, is a big get for reporters craving a story.
The true test will be which reporters are still here late next week as the summer league gets into the dog days. If I know one thing about media, it’s that endurance is not a strong trait.
OH, BY THE WAY-There was an actual game played between the Cavs and Bucks and it was a good one.
Milwaukee’s Nate Wolters intentionally missed a free throw with under five seconds remaining and the Bucks trailing by two. He corralled the rebound, but a desperation 3-point attempt at the buzzer was no good.
Former New Mexico forward Alex Kirk had six points and 12 rebounds in the victory. Bennett started the game off well with an early 3-pointer and dunk. He logged a solid 30 minutes, though he did commit eight fouls.
Dellavedova added nine points and six assists to go with his 13 points.
Parker and Giannis Antetokounmpo each had 17 points for Milwaukee.
NEXT-The question many people wanted to hear Andrew Wiggins answer was what he thought of a potential trade to Minnesota for Kevin Love, a move that would prevent him from playing with James.
It was asked, but never answered.
Almost as quickly as a reporter got the words out, a PR staffer for the Cavs interrupted.
He essentially said, “No soup for you. Next.”
Or something like that.
Again, I was pretty far away.
FAN-DEMONIUM-It wasn’t only reporters who were desperate to be around the insanity on Friday night. The matchup of Wiggins and Jabari Parker, the top two picks in last month’s draft, drew a huge crowd. Tickets sold out early in the day and staff were turning fans away at the door before the game even tipped off as the gym was full beyond capacity.
One of the saddest scenes of the day was all of the disappointed people in Cavaliers jerseys relegated to watching the game between Golden State and Charlotte that was taking place in the Thomas & Mack Center.
Fans who were turned away from entering Cox Pavilion were offered a refund and tickets to a future summer league session.
Officials for the league said 30 spectators took them up on the offer.
BIG GAME FOR DAVIS-Former San Diego State Aztec Josh Davis had 14 points and 16 rebounds for Charlotte in a 70-58 loss to Golden State at Thomas & Mack Center.
The Warriors scored the first 11 points of the game and never trailed.
It was Golden State’s 15th consecutive summer league victory. The Warriors were honored for their 2013 Vegas Summer League championship in a pre-game ceremony.
Former UNLV forward Roscoe Smith’s solid second half wasn’t enough to help the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Toronto Raptors on Friday afternoon at Cox Pavilion.
Smith made all three of his shot attempts after halftime and finished with eight points and two rebounds in an 89-78 loss.
Las Vegas native Darington Hobson had five points for the Raptors. Northwestern alum John Shurna led Toronto with 21 points in the win.
Jordan Clarkson also scored 21 points for the Lakers.
DENIAL — DeAndre Kane had six points and an assist in the loss for the Lakers.
An interesting story surfaced about Kane during his senior year at Iowa State when it was reported he had wanted to transfer to UNLV for his final collegiate season, only to be told there were no scholarships available.
Kane said that was absolutely untrue.
When he was leaving Marshall before last season, Kane said he never even spoke to anyone at UNLV before settling on Iowa State as a destination.
“I don’t know where that whole thing even came from,” Kane said.
Tim Hardaway Jr. scored 25 points as the New York Knicks opened the Vegas Summer League with a 76-64 victory over the Dallas Mavericks at Cox Pavilion on Friday afternoon.
Former Wichita State star Cleanthony Early stole the show with the most impressive 15-second stretch in the third quarter.
Early, the second-round pick of the Knicks, knocked down a 3-pointer and then finished a dunk on the break over two defenders after a steal.
He then turned to start running back on defense and stopped to flex with both arms.
The main focus wasn’t on either of those players, however. Knicks executive Phil Jackson was in the gym to get a look at some of the newest members of the squad.
It was tough to get a close look at him, though. While there is a separate seating area for coaches and team officials, Jackson was further protected by his own security guard.
PACKED — The seats at Cox Pavilion are already filled in anticipation of today’s 5 p.m. game between the Cavaliers and Bucks.
The matchup pits the draft’s No. 1 pick Andrew Wiggins and the second-selection, Jabari Parker. In fact, today’s session is officially sold out.
Fans hoping to see those guys play would be best served to plan on coming out on a different day.