The 2013 NBA Summer League continued today with the stars of tomorrow taking center stage in Las Vegas. As one might expect, this was another day of breakout performances and stunning finishes.
Here's a recap from some of Wednesday's action:
Denver Nuggets 87, New Orleans Pelicans 82
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In our opening game of the day, the Denver Nuggets fended off a furious comeback by the New Orleans Pelicans to hold on for an 87-82 victory. Using a monster first quarter, the Nuggets picked up their first win in Las Vegas.
Jordan Hamilton led the charge for Denver, scoring a team-high 23 points on 8-of-14 shooting from the field and 4-of-7 from three-point range. Quincy Miller added 17 points in 18 minutes, while second-round draft choice Erick Green posted 14 points.
In the end, it was all about the first quarter.
Who would've thought the opening minutes would decide the entire game?
Darius Miller matched Hamilton's 23 points for the Pelicans, shooting 8-of-15 from the floor. Brian Roberts and Austin Rivers continued their hot summers, with Roberts scoring 17 points and Rivers dropping 16 of his own.
In the end, it was Denver's crop of talented scorers that proved to be too strong for New Orleans to handle.
Memphis Grizzlies 90, Washington Wizards 83
In one of the most evenly matched games of the summer, the Memphis Grizzlies defeated the Washington Wizards by a score of 90-83. With high-quality ball throughout, a third-quarter lull by Washington was enough for Memphis to pull away.
Any time you manage eight points in a full quarter, you're in trouble.
Memphis' Tony Wroten led all players in scoring and facilitating with 23 points and six assists, including converting two three-point field goals. Jack Cooley continued his strong summer, posting 20 points and 12 rebounds on 9-of-14 shooting, with Donte Greene adding 16 points for the Grizzlies.
In terms of the highlight-reel plays, however, the Wizards took control with an impressive on-the-run alley-oop.
That wasn't all Jan Vesely managed to do.
Vesely picked up 15 points, nine rebounds and two blocks, Chris Singleton scored 16, and Glen Rice Jr. had 14. Devin Booker scored 11 off of the bench in 15 minutes of action.
In the end, Wroten and Cooley proved to be a tandem worth watching in the future as Memphis pads their second unit.
Minnesota Timberwolves 92, Sacramento Kings 54
It got ugly early in this one, as the Minnesota Timberwolves dominated the winless Sacramento Kings en route to a 92-54 victory. Minnesota had a 49-23 lead at the half, leaving the outcome in little doubt.
From there, the T-Wolves stretched their lead during the second half and allowed their top prospects to shine in their most impressive game of the summer.
Shabazz Muhammad led the charge in this one, scoring 17 points in 20 minutes on 6-of-10 shooting from the field and 3-of-4 from three-point range. Demetri McCamey added 15 points, Lorenzo Brown scored 11, and Brandon Paul tallied 10.
It was a beautiful feed from John Holland to Muhammad, ending in a one-hand flush, that summed up the flow of this game up perfectly.
Sacramento simply didn't have an answer.
Will Clyburn scored 15 points on 5-of-9 shooting from the field and 2-of-4 from distance. The rest of the Kings combined to shoot 25.9 percent from the floor, displaying how poorly they played as a team.
If you missed this one, don't feel too bad—it was ugly.
Portland Trail Blazers 70, Atlanta Hawks 69
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In our only overtime game of the day, the Portland Trail Blazers defeated the Atlanta Hawks by a score of 70-69. This comes after Portland stormed back from nine points down in the fourth quarter to tie the game up and send it to extra time.
From there, it was all about who could make a rare bucket.
C.J. McCollum scored a team-high 19 points in the win, with Will Barton adding 16 from the backcourt. Thomas Robinson finally broke through with 13 points, 17 rebounds and two blocks, and Meyers Leonard had 11 points.
While they may have lost, the Hawks still managed to find the highlight reel.
Jared Cunningham proceeded to tell teammate Dennis Schroeder that he "can make fancy passes, too."
Cunningham finished with seven points and six rebounds, while Schroeder tallied 16 points, five assists and three steals. Mike Scott continued his dominance of the Summer League with 19 points and nine rebounds, while John Jenkins managed 13 points.
For two teams committed to the long term, their futures certainly looked bright following this game.
Miami Heat 113, New York Knicks 66
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If you thought Minnesota's blowout of Sacramento was ugly, then the Miami Heat's 113-66 dismantling of the New York Knicks was disgusting. A case could be made that New York was without their best Summer League players, but let's be real.
A 47-point loss is a 47-point loss.
Travis Leslie scored a game-high 23 points and James Nunnally picked up 18 on 7-of-10 shooting from the field and 4-of- from three-point range. Eric Griffin added 13, while James Ennis and Damion James each had 12.
Myck Kabongo got in on the action, picking up six assists, including this beauty to Nunnally:
There was a lot of that in this game.
Jeremy Tyler was impressive for the Knicks, going for 18 points and eight rebounds, but he had minimal support on either end. Jerome Jordan added 10 points and nine rebounds, but no other Knicks player was in double-figures.
That's hardly shocking considering the Knicks lost by 47 points.
Dallas Mavericks 95, Los Angeles Clippers 89
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Today's Las Vegas Summer League closed out on a high note, as the Dallas Mavericks and Los Angeles Clippers put on a show. Numerous players were on their game, the outcome wasn't decided until the closing moments and the entertainment level was high.
And has there been a more pleasant surprise than Josh Akognon?
Akognon topped 20 points for the third time in four games, tallying 24 in 25 minutes. Jackie Carmichael scored 23 points and grabbed nine rebounds for Dallas, with Jae Crowder going off for 18, five rebounds, five assists and three steals.
Not to have the spotlight too far removed from his heroics, Reggie Bullock decided to remind those in attendance that the star of this game was on the Clippers.
Bullock finished with 20 points, five rebounds and four assists for L.A., converting 8-of-15 from the field. Jerome Randle added 15 and six assists, JaMychal Green put up 14 and Maalik Wayns scored 12 in 22 minutes.
In the end, it was Dallas who had the more balanced attack and pulled away for yet another win.