Day 10 featured two semifinal showdowns that decided who advanced to the championship game on Monday. The eventual champion will become just the second in Las Vegas Summer League history, as 2013 marked the first year in which a winner was crowned.
These teams are fighting hard to win, but the real competition is taking place between fringe players hoping to secure permanent deals and notable draft picks proving they're worthy of a heavy workload during the upcoming season. Needless to say, there is plenty to play for in every case.
Heading into Monday's finale, they've already announced the All-Vegas first team according to Yahoo Sports' Marc J. Spears:
1st Team Vegas: McDermott CHI; Motiejunas HOU; Porter, Rice WAS; Snell CHI. 2nd: Gobert UTAH; Hardaway NY; McRae PHI; Smith NO; Warren PHX.— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) July 21, 2014
Here's a look at Sunday's scores and results:
|Matchup||Final Score/Time (ET)||Leading Scorer|
|Houston Rockets vs. Charlotte Hornets||Rockets win, 83-79||P.J. Hairston, 27 pts|
|Sacramento Kings vs. Washington Wizards||Kings win, 74-62||Glen Rice Jr., 24 pts|
|New York Knicks||4||1|
|San Antonio Spurs||4||2|
|NBA D-League Select||3||3|
|Portland Trail Blazers||2||3|
|New Orleans Pelicans||2||3|
|Los Angeles Lakers||2||3|
|Golden State Warriors||2||3|
|Los Angeles Clippers||1||4|
Note: Highlighted teams advanced to Monday's championship game.
Day 10 Results
Sacramento Kings 74, Washington Wizards 62
A wide range of scorers and a suffocating defense led the Sacramento Kings to yet another win, giving the Washington Wizards their first and only loss of Las Vegas to send them home.
The Wizards were once again led by summer-league stud Glen Rice Jr., who put up 24 points on 8-of-23 shooting, nine rebounds and six steals. Only Otto Porter (16 points) finished in double figures with him, with the rest of the team combining for just 22 total points.
Despite coming up short, Rice was recognized for his incredible performances in Las Vegas by being named Summer League MVP, per Yahoo Sports' Marc J. Spears:
Wizards guard Glen Rice, Jr., was named MVP of the Vegas Summer League after averaging a league-leading 25 points and 7.8 rebounds.— Marc J. Spears (@SpearsNBAYahoo) July 21, 2014
The dynamic Washington duo was no match for numerous contributors for the Kings, though, allowing Sacramento to build a lead that swelled to 43-17 at one point. A 21-point halftime lead was just too much to overcome for the Wizards despite Rice and Porter's best fight.
Plays like this furious putback dunk from Alex Oriakhi helped spur the Kings to a lopsided semifinal victory:
Quincy Acy, MarShon Brooks and Jared Cunningham all finished in double figures for Sacramento, but point guard Ray McCallum was the leader on offense. His stuffed stat sheet of 11 points, six rebounds and three assists paled in comparison to the impact his pacing and penetration had.
One of McCallum's five misses was cleaned up by Acy for the dunk of the night:
Lottery pick Nik Stauskas went cold for the Kings with a 1-of-6 three-point performance, but lauded his team on its impressive run to the championship and asked his teammates for one more big game:
Championship game tomorrow. Gotta push through and find our legs for one more day!!! #Kings— Nik Stauskas (@NStauskas11) July 21, 2014
If the Kings duplicate Sunday's performance or even come close, the Rockets might not be any match. With Stauskas, Acy and McCallum, there is no shortage of NBA-ready talent—not to mention Ben McLemore—and they're gelling quite well in Las Vegas.
The tournament ends on a sour note for Washington. The Wizards entered Sunday's contest a perfect 5-0 after an incredible run that included a triple-overtime win over the San Antonio Spurs the day before. Plenty of players on the roster proved they can be counted on for minutes in the 2014-15 season.
Houston Rockets 83, Charlotte Hornets 79
Just like they have in most of Charlotte's games so far in Las Vegas, P.J. Hairston scored at will and Noah Vonleh dominated the boards. But this time, it wasn't enough. Led by 24 points from Isaiah Canaan, the Houston Rockets held on through 13 lead changes to advance to Monday's finale.
Hairston led all scorers with 27 points, while Vonleh got nine of his 16 rebounds on the offensive end. But it wasn't enough to overcome 54 combined points from Houston's Canaan, Nick Johnson and Donatas Motiejunas, the Rockets' three-headed monster throughout these past 10 days.
Although they ended up on top, the Rockets don't have a lot to feel good about offensively as a unit. They finished with a 31.2 shooting percentage from the field for the contest.
Despite that, they still led down the stretch and were able to hold on, as the Houston Chronicle's Jonathan Feigen observed:
To put it another way, Rockets up two while shooting 28 percent with 3 1/2 minutes left. Ugh.— Jonathan Feigen (@Jonathan_Feigen) July 20, 2014
Other than an 8-of-17 outing from Canaan and 6-of-12 shooting from Motiejunas, Houston shot a measly 11-of-51 as a team. A formidable shooting stroke was hard to come by after those two, with Johnson struggling from the field for a third straight game.
One of the bright spots for Rockets players not named Canaan or Motiejunas came on this pretty transition play:
By taking care of the ball and staying nearly even on the boards, the Rockets were able to rely on their defense and stay in the lead. Every time Charlotte crept back in front, Motiejunas would score in the post or Canaan would hit a big three.
It also didn't hurt that Charlotte struggled from the field as well, barely shooting above a 35 percent clip.
But the real star from Sunday, and all tournament long for Houston, was Canaan. After very sparse playing time in his rookie year, he has looked in Las Vegas like he's ready to take on more responsibility in his sophomore campaign.
The second-year pro spoke to the media about the victory, per the team's official Twitter account:
General manager Daryl Morey was understandably excited on Twitter after the game:
The Hornets have been one of the stories of Las Vegas, with Hairston and Vonleh flourishing in their first taste of NBA action, but they'll head home knowing they were just two wins shy of a title. They can hold their heads high after making it this far.
For Houston, it will be hungry to face Sacramento and hopefully take the championship that Golden State won a year ago, carrying that success into training camp.