Play has started on the second day of the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas and we’re live-blogging from the Thomas & Mack and Cox Pavilion each day.
Follow along with our live blog, which will be updated throughout the day, below.
— The single-day attendance record of 12,472 — set last year when Russell’s Lakers and Karl-Anthony Towns’ Minnesota Timberwolves met — was shattered Saturday, as 16,208 attended the games, with the spotlight on Ingram and Simmons.
— Final scores from the last four games of the day:
Denver Nuggets 106, Memphis Grizzlies 62
Dallas Mavericks 83, Miami Heat 64
Thomas & Mack Center:
Los Angeles Lakers 70, Philadelphia 76ers 69
San Antonio Spurs 63, Golden State Warriors 61
— Jonathan Simmons’ buzzer-beater spoiled Pat McCaw’s UNLV homecoming and gave the Spurs a 63-61 win over the Warriors in the day’s final game. McCaw finished with 14 points, four rebounds, two assists and two blocks in his debut. He played 33 minutes and shot 6-for-13 from field.
— Former Bishop Gorman High standout Rosco Allen just checked in for the first time at the NBA Summer League for the Golden State Warriors in the third quarter. San Antonio leads, 48-47 with 1:30 left in the third.
— Chris Obekpa, who redshirted the 2015-16 season for UNLV after transferring from St. Johns, played 13 minutes in the Mavericks-Heat game. Obekpa didn’t score, but he had four rebounds and a blocked shot. He was 0-for-3 shooting from the field for the Heat, who lost 83-64.
— Lakers second-year guard D’Angelo Russell hit the game-winning shot with 1.8 seconds remaining to lift Los Angeles to a 70-69 win over the Philadelphia 76ers. Someone in the jam-packed, pro-Laker Thomas & Mack Center has that on video. Oops, too soon?
Brandon Ingram finished with seven points on 3-for-12 shooting.
Ben Simmons played 31 minutes and finished with eight points, 10 rebounds, eight assists and seven turnovers for Philadelphia.
— Juwan Howard, Jr. hits a 3-pointer for the Heat, which is coached by his father, former Michigan and NBA star Juwan Howard.
— Five years removed from being the 10th overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, former Brigham Young star Jimmer Fredette found himself fighting for a job in the Summer League with the Denver Nuggets after spending most of last season in the NBA D-League with the Westchester (N.Y.) Knicks.
Fredette was feeling it in the first half, pouring in 19 points while sinking 4 of 6 3-pointers, and finished with a game-high 26 points. He hopes his performance here leads to another chance in the NBA after he appeared in only six games last season for the New York Knicks and New Orleans Pelicans.
“I hope to get a contract at some point. That’s the goal for everybody here unless they’re already on a team,” said Fredette, 27. “I’ll try to go out there and show what I can do and hope for an opportunity. I’m not just playing for the Nuggets. You’re playing for all 30 teams here. They’re all watching.”
Micah Nori, Denver’s Summer League coach, said Fredette needs to improve his defense to make it in the NBA.
“He’s done a much better job on the defensive end,” Nori said. “The one knock on Jimmer that everyone worries about is his defense. I know it’s a small sample size, these two games, but if he’s consistent on the defensive end, he definitely has a place in this league because he’s such a threat offensively.”
Despite descending from Jimmermania to fighting for a job in the Summer League in a half-empty gym at Cox Pavilion, Fredette has kept a positive attitude.
“You never know what life’s going to throw at you. You’ve got to continue to play as hard as you can and enjoy every single second of it,” he said, smiling. “Sometimes it can be tough, but you’ve got to stay positive. My wife and my family always keep me up.”
— “BLAME IT ON THE H H H H H HYPE” — Actor, singer, comedian Jamie Foxx was in attendance for the packed Lakers-76ers game in the Thomas & Mack Center. Foxx, who frequently attends boxing fights in Las Vegas, could be on his way to UFC 200 at the T-Mobile Arena after this one ends.
— It’s Jimmermania all over again. Not really, but former Brigham Young star Jimmer Fredette lit it up for the Nuggets in the Cox Pavilion with 19 points in the first half on 7-for-10 shooting (4-for-6 on 3-pointers).
Fredette finished with 26 points on 9-of-18 shooting, including 4-for-8 on 3-pointers, in the Nuggets’ 106-62 victory over the Grizzlies.
— They may have just held the greatest halftime promotion in the history of the summer league,. They had a “Baby Crawl” at intermission of the Lakers-76ers game in the Thomas & Mack Center, where the winner had to go from the foul line to just before midcourt. There were 11 entrants and with their moms and dads encouraging them, they scurried about the court with the thousands looking on cheering them on.
The winner was Luke, a 10-month old from Las Vegas. He received a trophy and a teddy bear. However, there was no wagering on the event. NBA commissioner Adam Silver isn’t “that” progressive when it comes to gambling.
— Former NBA player Vinny Del Negro and Minnesota Timberwolves head coach Tom Thibodeau are sitting beside one another in the Thomas & Mack Center to watch the Los Angeles Lakers-Philadelphia 76ers game featuring the top two picks in this year’s draft.
— Final scores from the first four games of the day:
Phoenix Suns 86, Portland Trail Blazers 73
Chicago Bulls 71, Boston Celtics 62
Thomas & Mack Center:
Brooklyn Nets 79, Cleveland Cavaliers 73
Washington Wizards 88, Utah Jazz 73
— The NBA logo, Hall of Famer Jerry West, caught the first half of the Washington Wizards-Utah Jazz game from the baseline in the Thomas & Mack Center.
— It appears Deflategate will never truly go away. In the Boston Celtics-Chicago Bulls game in the Cox Pavilion, with former Notre Dame forward Jack Cooley at the free-throw line, one boisterous fan shouted, “Brady’s a cheater.”
— Celtics All-Star guard Isaiah Thomas and teammate Amir Johnson were watching Boston battle the Chicago Bulls from floor seats at the Cox Pavilion. Bulls coach Fred Hoiberg also was on hand.
— By now, Pierre Jackson should feel comfortable playing basketball in his native Las Vegas. Yet, the former Desert Pines High School star said he was nervous prior to Saturday’s Portland-Phoenix game.
Jackson, a 5-foot-11-inch point guard, is once again trying to catch on in the NBA, this time with the Trail Blazers after being cut by Philadelphia last preseason, then spending part of the year with two different NBA Development League teams (Idaho and Texas) while battling a groin injury.
“It’s weird but I never get nervous before a game,” Jackson said. “I think there was a packed house and I don’t get to play at home very often.”
Jackson started slowly Saturday but finished with 11 points and four assists in 21 minutes as the Suns defeated Portland 86-73.
“I thought I got better as the game went on,” he said. “When you come to a new team you’re trying to figure out how to fit in, where guys want you to get them the ball, where the best spots on the court are for the other guys.”
At age 24, Jackson knows it’s probably now-or-never for his NBA dream. He’s hoping he can stay healthy throughout the week and get an invitation to Portland’s fall training camp. From there, who knows?
“I think this is a great opportunity for me,” Jackson said. “I’m over the injury that kept me out for most of the season. I’m 100 percent and I just want to show these guys I can help them.”
— Jeremy Lin might not have made it to the NBA if not for the Summer League.
Coming out of Harvard, Lin wasn’t picked in the 2010 NBA Draft and the Dallas Mavericks were the only team to invite him to play for their Summer League squad in Las Vegas.
Lin capitalized on his opportunity, outshining Washington Wizards guard John Wall, the No. 1 overall pick in 2010, in one game and turning in a solid all-around performance in five Summer League games that led to him signing a two-year contract that summer with the Golden State Warriors.
Lin went on to create “Linsanity” with the New York Knicks during a stellar 2011-12 season before playing two seasons for the Houston Rockets and one season each for the Los Angeles Lakers and Charlotte Hornets.
Lin recently signed a $36 million, three-year contract with the Brooklyn Nets and was back where it all began Saturday, watching his new team take on the Cleveland Cavaliers. But instead of sitting on the end of the bench, he was sitting in floor seats at the Thomas & Mack Center and signing autographs for fans who chanted his name when he arrived.
“It just reminds me of how far I’ve come. God has blessed me in so many ways and the journey’s been so, so amazing,” he said. “I was out here, coming off the bench on my Summer League team, not thinking I would even possibly see the floor in a Summer League game, and then somehow played a couple of good quarters and was able to find a way into the NBA.
“Coming back here and seeing these guys play definitely gives me a sense of appreciation for everything.”
— Tempers flared in the Phoenix Suns-Portland Trail Blazers game in the Cox Pavilion. Suns guard Devin Booker aggressively fought through a screen set by Trailblazers forward Noah Vonleh.
Vonleh took offense to what appeared to be a hard push to the abdomen and was assessed a technical foul. The two teams had to be separated near mid-court.
— Jeremy Lin is in the house at the Thomas & Mack Center watching his new team, the Brooklyn Nets, from floor seats. There wasn’t any Linsanity when he arrived but there was some Linterest as a section of fans shouted his first name upon spotting the former sensation. Lin, who recently signed a $36 million, three-year deal with Brooklyn, obliged by signing a few autographs.
Two-time All-Star Kiki Vandeweghe also is on hand for the game. He’s currently the NBA’s vice-president of basketball operations.
— Cavaliers and Nets are getting ready to tip off at the Thomas & Mack Center.
Michael Stockton, son of Hall of Famer John Stockton, is on Cleveland’s Summer League roster. Stockton is making his fourth straight Summer League appearance. Undrafted in the 2011 NBA Draft, Stockton played in the NBA D League last season for the Canton Charge.
His brother, David Stockton, was re-signed Saturday by the Sacramento Kings and is expected to join the team Sunday.
— Suns and Trail Blazers are getting ready to tip at Cox Pavilion. Phoenix owner Robert Sarver is sitting courtside to watch his team.
Also in attendance with Sarver is veteran forward Jared Dudley, who is returning to the franchise for a second stint after signing with the Suns as a free agent. Dudley played with the Washington Wizards last season.