To the victors go the hats? That's not exactly how the saying goes, but the Oklahoma City Thunder will enjoy their Orlando Summer League prize nonetheless. In the championship game, the Thunder manage to defeat a short-handed Houston Rockets squad, 85-77.
The Thunder finished summer league play in Orlando with an undefeated 5-0 record.
In an obvious attempt not to overly reward players who have, in most cases, just begun their professional careers, the NBA awarded the Thunder these hats as a trophy for winning it all in Orlando. The tweet is from ESPN's Mike Wallace:
Here's the swag the Rockets-Thunder will play for in today's championship game of the Orlando summer league. pic.twitter.com/IasA0u58Rp— Michael Wallace (@WallaceNBA_ESPN) July 12, 2013
The Thunder were led by second-year player Jeremy Lamb, who finished with 18 points.
It probably felt a little extra special for Lamb to down the Rockets, considering Houston drafted then traded him during the offseason before he played a game as a part of the James Harden-Kevin Martin deal.
The Thunder's win gave them the first-ever championship in Orlando Summer League history. Lamb finished up a strong showing in Orlando, where he averaged 18.7 points per game in four contests.
The Rockets played without Jeremy Lin, Isaiah Canaan and Terrence Jones, but were paced by two undrafted rookies. Robert Covington had 21 points and B.J. Young added 20, but the Rockets couldn't overcome an 11-point deficit heading into the fourth quarter.
Miami Heat Defeat Detroit Pistons, but Drummond Still Dominant
Prior to the championship game, the Miami Heat downed the Detroit Pistons 90-85 to improve to 3-2 in Orlando. The loss dropped the Pistons to 2-3 in the Magic Kingdom.
The Heat were led by 18 points each from D.J. Kennedy and Ian Clark. Despite the loss, Andre Drummond continued to shine for the Pistons. He had 15 points and 14 rebounds to continue his strong summer league showing.
In four games, he averaged 15.5 points and 14.7 rebounds.
Here's a video recap of that matchup:
Indiana Pacers Knock Off Utah Jazz and Scuffling Trey Burke
In the second game of Championship Day in Orlando, the Indiana Pacers nipped the Utah Jazz 73-70.
Orlando Johnson had 18 points and Donald Sloan was a stat-sheet stuffer with 13 points, five rebounds and six assists. But the biggest story of the game was the continued struggles of Jazz rookie Trey Burke.
He managed just eight points and five assists on 4 of 12 shooting from the field. Burke was 0-for-4 from three-point range, including a three that could have tied the game at the end of regulation.
He was a combined 1-for-19 from deep in Orlando. The Jazz have to hope Burke works out the kinks before the regular season begins in the fall.
Boston Celtics Thrash the Orlando Magic
The Magic didn't close things well in their own city. The Celtics ripped the host city's team 102-83 in the summer league finale. The Magic were playing without No. 2 pick overall, Victor Oladipo and the Celtics took advantage.
Tony Mitchell led a balanced attack with 14 points and 13th overall pick Kelly Olynyk added 12 points and seven rebounds.
In a losing effort, A.J. Slaughter had a solid performance. He had 25 points and nine assists and may gotten the attention of a few NBA teams with his effort.
Philadelphia 76ers Keep Brooklyn Nets Winless in Orlando
The Nets may have broken the bank to produce a solid team for the regular season and potentially the playoffs, but their summer league squad struggled mightily.
Brooklyn was defeated 89-86 by the 76ers sending the Nets to an 0-5 mark in Orlando. The 76ers finished up just one game better at 1-4. Khalif Wyatt led the Sixers with 27 points and four assists. He made three of four attempts from beyond the three-point line.
Philly's first-round pick, Michael Carter-Williams had 11 points and five assists.
Nets' first-round pick Mason Plumlee did finish with 23 points, while Keith Benson had 18 points and 16 rebounds. Brooklyn only played six players, so fatigue seemed to be a factor down the stretch.
Follow me for hoops news, rumors and spirited opinions.