The crown jewel of the NBA offseason, the Las Vegas Summer League is kicking into high gear with the bracket sorting the best from the rest.
The Phoenix Suns, who finished second in last year's inaugural tournament, were in action on Friday, as will be exciting young talents such as Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker and Julius Randle.
Summer league is a proving ground for rookies and players without a contract. It has given fans a dose of new rosters, coaches and more.
Before the quarterfinals of the bracket get underway on Saturday, here is a review of how all eight contests unfolded on Friday.
Day 8 Results
|Matchup||Final Score||Leading Scorer|
|Dallas Mavericks vs. Phoenix Suns||DAL 88, PHO 62||Eric Griffin, 20|
|Milwaukee Bucks vs. Golden State Warriors||MIL 79, GSW 74||Jabari Parker, 20|
|Los Angeles Clippers vs. Toronto Raptors||TOR 64, LAC 60||DeAndre Daniels, 15|
|Denver Nuggets vs. Los Angeles Lakers||LAL 83, DEN 77||Erick Green, 20|
|Philadelphia 76ers vs. NBA D-League Select||TBD||TBD|
|Portland Trail Blazers vs. Utah Jazz||TBD||TBD|
|Minnesota Timberwolves vs. New Orleans Pelicans||TBD||TBD|
|Miami Heat vs. Cleveland Cavaliers||TBD||TBD|
Las Vegas Summer League Standings
|Golden State Warriors||2-3|
|Los Angeles Clippers||1-4|
|Los Angeles Lakers||2-3|
|NBA D-League Select||2-3|
|New Orleans Pelicans||2-2|
|New York Knicks||4-0|
|Portland Trail Blazers||2-2|
|San Antonio Spurs||4-1|
Los Angeles Lakers 83, Denver Nuggets 77
It was the Erick Green show on Friday night, as the Denver guard not only poured in a game-high 20 points on 50 percent shooting from the field, but he also slammed home the dunk of the night to boot:
His efforts would not prove enough, though, and neither would those of Gary Harris (18 points) and Jerelle Benimon (17).
Simply put, Los Angeles once again put on a young talent show. The big name was Julius Randle, who saw about 25 minutes of action and posted 14 points and five boards.
The Kentucky product was flanked by Kevin Murphy, who also had 14. Rookie Jordan Clarkson continued his stellar summer with 12 more, a number that was matched by DeAndre Kane. Even Xavier Gibson got in on the action with 13 points of his own.
Perhaps best of all, outside of the obvious wealth of young talent on both sides, was that the contest produced some stellar defensive highlights:
Suffice it to say, two teams that figure to struggle mightily next season left it all on the hardwood Friday.
Toronto Raptors 64, Los Angeles Clippers 60
The young Toronto Raptors held the Los Angeles Clippers to just nine points in the second quarter and jumped out to a 36-27 by halftime Friday. It proved enough to fend off the Clippers for the duration of the contest, primarily thanks to the efforts of DeAndre Daniels and his 15 points and 14 rebounds.
Daniels was flanked by rookie and shock of the draft Bruno Caboclo. He yet again had a strong showing, this time with 10 points and seven rebounds. Veteran Chris Daniels provided an unexpected spark off the bench with 10 points in about 13 minutes.
For Los Angeles, 13 points from Lorenzo Brown and another 11 from DeAndre Liggins were simply not enough, as they were the lone players to break into double figures.
It didn't help that the team shot 32.8 percent from the field overall and made one of 10 attempts from long range.
Milwaukee Bucks 79, Golden State Warriors 74
The second contest of the afternoon proved much more competitive, even with the Milwaukee Bucks posting a 26-8 scoring advantage in the second quarter.
Offensively, the Golden State Warriors were the utmost example of willingness to share, as only rookie Aaron Craft reached double digits with 10 points. As a group, Golden State was ruined by converting on just four of 31 shots from deep.
Of course, Milwaukee was not better in that regard (1-of-13), but what it did have was Parker, the No. 2 overall pick in the 2014 draft. The Duke product poured in 20 points on 8-of-15 shooting, grabbed 15 boards and made the highlight reel more than once for good measure:
Joining him was Chris Wright with 16 points and eight rebounds, and big man Johnny O'Bryant, who posted a double-double of his own with 10 points and 10 rebounds. He also made the top defensive play of the contest:
For Milwaukee, it is just the latest reminder that the future is in great hands, even if the victory was its first win in Las Vegas.
Dallas Mavericks 88, Phoenix Suns 62
For a brief time, the Phoenix Suns appeared to be in control to open the action in Las Vegas.
T.J. Warren, the No. 14 overall pick in the 2014 class, led the team to a 20-16 advantage after the first quarter.
Then it all fell apart.
The Suns scored just 23 points total in the next two frames. They wound up shooting 30.8 percent from the field and 22.7 from deep and even stuttered at the charity stripe with a 68 percent conversion rate.
Warren shot just 3-of-11 from the field with nine points, while fellow rookie Tyler Ennis went 0-of-6 in about 19 minutes of work.
On the flip side, everything went perfectly for the Mavericks. Want a buzzer-beater? Dee Bost, who went on to score eight points, provided that:
Want to watch the growing legend that is 5'7" point guard Yuki Togashi take players to school? He did:
He wound up with just four points, but it's no secret Togashi is a work in progress, as noted by his former high school coach Stu Vetter, per Nina Mandell of the USA Today:
He’s a pass-first point guard but when he has the opportunity he can shoot the ball … because of his size he creates matchup problems for other teams because he is quick and can shoot the ball and knows how to play. He’s a very smart player.
Eric Griffin led all scorers with 20 points. He was soaring high after inking a deal with the team:
If the opening contest proved one thing on Friday, it's that special young talent is on display even from teams that have been eliminated from the summer league tournament. There are seven more games on the slate on Friday night.
Even better, the best is yet to come with Parker, Wiggins and Randle yet to take the court.