Quarterfinal play has begun at the Thomas & Mack Center for Day 9 of the NBA Summer League. The winners advance to Sunday’s semifinals.
We’re live-blogging from the arena all day.
The Brooklyn Nets and Cleveland Cavaliers are tied at 41 at halftime in the last quarterfinal of the day.
Sean Kilpatrick has 13 points to lead the Nets.
Jordan McRae has scored 12 for Cleveland, as coach Tyronn Lue sits courtside.
The winner will meet Chicago in the semifinals at 5 p.m. Sunday.
Former Findlay Prep standout Kelly Oubre Jr. scored 17 points for the Wizards in their 88-85 loss to Chicago. The second-year forward led Washington in scoring for the summer league, averaging 19.2 per game over five games.
Clark County Commission chairman Steve Sisloak is at the Thomas & Mack for the Chicago-Washington game in support of the summer league’s Military Appreciation Day. No word on when the commission is going to approve the permits for Bill Foley’s proposed practice facility in Downtown Summerlin for his NHL expansion team.
“We’re ready to go,” Sisolak said. “We’re just waiting to get the paperwork from Bill.”
Rumors are Kevin Durant and Kevin Love are swinging by the Thomas & Mack for the summer league. Love’s Cleveland Cavaliers play at 7 p.m. against Brooklyn. We’ll see if they show.
Both are in town for USA Basketball training camp, which begins Monday at the Mendenhall Center.
It was only two months ago that Toronto’s Norman Powell played in the Eastern Conference Finals against LeBron James and the eventual world champion Cleveland Cavaliers.
Unlike most players competing in that series, Powell — a second-year guard from UCLA who averaged 11.4 minutes in the postseason — didn’t get much of a vacation afterwards.
He wanted more basketball, and that’s exactly what he got playing in his second consecutive Las Vegas Summer League.
“I was all for it. I was looking forward to it,” Powell said. “After the season, they asked me if I was going to play and I told them, ‘Yes.’ I was really excited to play here, just to continue to play against good competition and work on my game and work on errors that I need to improve on. I wanted to win this thing. It’s the second year I fell short of that. It’s tough the way we went out.”
Toronto was eliminated Saturday in the quarterfinals, when Minnesota’s Tyus Jones got fouled and hit a pair of free throws with 0.4 seconds remaining. The free throws gave the Timberwolves an 81-79 win in the Thomas & Mack Center.
“It was a really bad call,” said Powell, who had just hit the game-tying 3-pointer on the other end. “If you see it in slow motion, (Tyus Jones) hop-stepped, traveled, kicked his leg out and there was no time left on the clock. So it’s a really bad call, but that play call isn’t what beat us.”
Toronto was the tournament’s top seed after it started 4-0.
Powell was a main reason why, along with second-year guard Delon Wright.
“I really thought I did a great job leading the team,” Powell said. “Talking to them, staying active, staying vocal. Leading by example.”
Wright, on the other hand, was injured with 4:44 left in the game after stripping the ball on the defensive end.
The 6-foot-5-inch guard, who was the 20th overall pick in last year’s draft, dislocated his right shoulder, a team source confirmed. It was “popped back into place” and the X-rays were negative. He said he will get an MRI to see if any further damage was done.
Powell, who almost injured himself a couple days before in the Cox Pavilion, doesn’t think Wright regrets playing so late in the tournament when several players opt to take a seat and rest.
“I don’t think he regrets (playing in the quarterfinals),” Powell said. “I think it’s part of the way you compete. Injuries are bound to happen. It was really tough for him. It changes a lot for what he wanted to do in the summer. But he’s a hard worker. He’s really committed, so I don’t think it’s going to hold him back. He’s going to do whatever it takes to rehab and get better and get back on the court and continue where he left off. He had a great showing.”
Wright, a Utah product, averaged 3.8 points, 1.4 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game last season for the Raptors. He played 8.5 minutes per game during his rookie season, and also was participating in his second consecutive Las Vegas Summer League.
“No, I don’t regret (playing),” Wright said. “I’m not in the rotation on our team, so I have to play these games to get better. (It was) just a freak accident. And I’ll be better.”
When asked about his summer league play overall, Wright said: “I think I did solid. I wish I could’ve played a little better, but I’ll be alright.”
Minnesota’s Tyus Jones hit a pair of free throws with 0.4 seconds remaining to help the Timberwolves to an 81-79 win over the Raptors in the day’s first quarterfinal game.
Coming out of an out-of-bounds play, Jones was fouled by Yanick Moreira on a field goal attempt from the right corner.
“It was a really bad call,” said Raptors guard Norman Powell, who previously had hit the game-tying 3-pointer at the other end. “If you see it in slow motion, (Tyus Jones) hop-stepped, traveled, kicked his leg out and there was no time left on the clock. So it’s a really bad call, but that play call isn’t what beat us.”
Toronto could not get a shot off on the other end.
Minnesota will play the Phoenix-Denver winner in the semifinals Sunday.
Toronto’s Delon Wright just walked off the court with team officials in the fourth quarter of the Raptors-Timberwolves quarterfinal game due to a dislocated right shoulder, a team source confirmed.
The 6-foot-5-inch guard, who was the 20th overall pick in last year’s draft, was holding his shoulder en route to the locker room. Toronto led Minnesota 70-67 with 4:44 remaining.
Wright, a Utah product, averaged 3.8 points, 1.4 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game last season for the Raptors. He played 8.5 minutes per game for Toronto during his rookie season. He was participating in his second consecutive Las Vegas Summer League.
A team official said Wright’s shoulder was “popped back into place.” The X-rays were negative.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver released the following statement regarding the passing of Nate Thurmond: “Nate Thurmond was a giant of his era and one of the greatest players in the history of our game. A fierce competitor with an incredible array of skills, Nate had a remarkable Hall of Fame career that included the first quadruple-double in NBA history. Nate brought the same passion to his longtime community-relations role with the Golden State Warriors, who benefited from his deep knowledge of the game and warmth and kindness to everyone he encountered for more than 30 years. We are deeply saddened by his loss.”
It’s halftime of the Raptors-Timberwolves game and Toronto leads Minnesota, 42-34. Jalen Jones has seven points off the bench to lead Toronto.
Raptors head coach Dwane Casey just walked into the Thomas & Mack so he should be happy.
Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns, the reigning Rookie of the Year, just walked into the Thomas & Mack Center to sit courtside with coach Tim Thibodeau as the Timberwolves play the Raptors in a quarterfinal game.
The passing of Hall of Fame center Nate Thurmond was not lost on those who were at the summer league Saturday.
Thurmond, who played for the Warriors 11 of his 14 NBA seasons and was selected as one of the NBA’s 50 greatest players ever, died Saturday after a brief bout with leukemia. He was 74.
“He was very tough to play against,” said Wayne Embry, a special advisor to the Toronto Raptors and a contemporary of Thurmond’s in the 1960s when he played for the Cincinnati Royals and later, the Boston Celtics. “He was long, strong and a great shot blocker and rebounder. For a guy who was such a fierce competitor he was a very kind person. Everyone liked and respected Nate.”
The Timberwolves and Raptors are underway and Kris Dunn is once again not in uniform for Minnesota. The team has elected to shut him down after Dunn suffered a concussion earlier in the summer league.
Minnesota Timberwolves coach Tim Thibodeau was in the Thomas & Mack to watch the Wolves play Toronto. But he’ll be sticking around Las Vegas for next week’s USA Basketball training camp at the Mendenhall Center.
The team arrives Sunday at its headquarters and Wynn Las Vegas. Practice begins Monday with the week-long camp wrapping up with an exhibition game against Argentina on Friday at T-Mobile Arena.
“We’re excited to get going,” Thibodeau said. “I like our group of guys and I’m looking forward to being out there.”
Unlike previous years, this year’s Olympic team is already set. And that will allow the staff to focus on the 12 players who are going to Rio next month.
“I think it makes our job easier from an evaluation standpoint,” Thibodeau said. “There’s no guesswork about a player, whether we should keep him or not. We know who we’re working with and job is to get them ready (for Rio).”