NBA Summer League 2021: Scores and Highlights from Sunday's Las Vegas ResultsAugust 9, 2021
The Las Vegas Summer League kicked off with seven games on Sunday from Cox Pavilion and Thomas & Mack Center.
Five of the top six 2021 NBA draft picks were in action, led by top overall selection Cade Cunningham and his Detroit Pistons. They took on Josh Giddey (No. 6) and the Oklahoma City Thunder.
The young Houston Rockets squad, led by No. 2 pick Jalen Green, also took the court versus Evan Mobley (No. 3) and the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Rounding out that group was ex-Florida State star Scottie Barnes, who made his professional debut against the New York Knicks after the Toronto Raptors selected him fourth overall.
Here's a game-by-game breakdown of the day alongside some notable stats and highlights.
Boston Celtics 85, Atlanta Hawks 83
Payton Pritchard hit seven three-pointers en route to 23 points and Carsen Edwards added 17 to lead the Boston Celtics to an 85-83 win over the Atlanta Hawks.
Pritchard's dominance from deep, including this long-range bucket, kept Boston in position for the win:
Jalen Johnson's 20-point, 10-rebound night paced the Hawks, and he started the game with a tough bucket:
The former Duke star, who was selected 20th in the 2021 NBA draft, also did work on the other end:
Johnson's clutch three-pointer gave Atlanta an 81-77 lead with under one minute left:
However, the C's responded with an 8-0 run, with Pritchard and Romeo Langford each hitting threes before the former player knocked down two free throws.
Langford's three, which was assisted by Pritchard, gave Boston the lead for good:
Sharife Cooper, the Hawks' second-round pick, finished with 11 points and six assists.
Toronto Raptors 89, New York Knicks 79
Barnes dazzled in his summer-league debut with 18 points, 10 rebounds and five assists to lead the Raptors to an 89-79 win over the New York Knicks.
He also shined on the defensive end with two steals, including one that led to an easy Matt Morgan bucket:
Raptors guard Malachi Flynn's 23 points led all Toronto scorers.
Knicks forward Obi Toppin led his squad with 24 points and eight boards and provided a coast-to-coast dunk:
However, the Knicks were ultimately doomed by poor three-point shooting (7-of-40).
Portland Trail Blazers 93, Charlotte Hornets 86
Antonio Blakeney dropped 19 of his 27 points in the fourth quarter as the Portland Trail Blazers beat the Charlotte Hornets 93-86.
19 PTS in the 4th quarter 🔥<br><br>Antonio Blakeney is up to 27 PTS for the <a href="https://twitter.com/trailblazers?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">@trailblazers</a>! <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/NBASummer?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#NBASummer</a><br><br>📺: NBA TV <a href="https://t.co/A3qE5qDXzz">pic.twitter.com/A3qE5qDXzz</a>
Blakeney went 9-of-10 overall and 7-of-7 from the free-throw line in just 18 minutes. The 24-year-old is looking to break back into the league after playing 76 games with the Chicago Bulls over the 2017-18 and 2018-19 seasons.
James Bouknight, the No. 11 overall draft pick, dropped a team-high 19 points for the Hornets. His best effort was this step-back three-pointer right before halftime:
He also did work on the other end:
It's unknown how well the Hornets will do this year, but they will undoubtedly be entertaining. This young group can fly, with Bouknight and Kai Jones soon joining LaMelo Ball and Miles Bridges.
Jones, who had 10 points and 10 boards, notably elevated on this dunk:
The No. 19 overall pick excelled, and the same went for LiAngelo Ball, who is looking to join his younger brother on the roster. He added 16 points in 16 minutes, including a four-point play:
Ball hit 5-of-8 three-pointers.
Houston Rockets 84, Cleveland Cavaliers 76
Green led the Rockets with 23 points as they took down the Cavaliers 84-76.
Green is going to be a big problem in this league, and he showed why with an excellent performance that showcased his offensive repertoire.
The ex-NBA G League Ignite star's figures were complemented by two of his three fellow first-rounders in Alperen Sengun (15 points, 15 rebounds, four blocks) and Josh Christopher (13 points).
All three Rockets players are just 19 years old and likely foreshadow a bright future in Houston as the team constructs a new era following James Harden's departure.
Isaac Okoro's 17 points led the Cavs, who also got 12 points, five boards and three blocks via Mobley.
The ex-USC star finished off a tough bucket for his first-ever points in a Cavs uniform:
His toughness in the paint was clearly evident:
It wasn't enough to beat the Rockets, but Mobley still impressed in his pro debut.
Oklahoma City Thunder 76, Detroit Pistons 72
Theo Maledon's 15-point, 11-assist double-double led the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 76-72 win over the Pistons.
Maledon's fantastic leadership of the Thunder offense was a catalyst in OKC's win:
OKC THUNDER @okcthunder
Théo's too nice.<a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Th%C3%A9oMaledon?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ThéoMaledon</a> | <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/ThunderUp?src=hash&ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">#ThunderUp</a> <a href="https://t.co/oJ1LmHNWb7">pic.twitter.com/oJ1LmHNWb7</a>
He was opposed by Cunningham, who posted 12 points on 5-of-17 shooting and six rebounds. It wasn't his best offensive night, but he had his moments, like this early three-pointer:
He made a notable impact on the defensive end, though, with two blocks and two steals. Saddiq Bey's 14 points led Detroit.
Giddey was removed from the game after suffering a left ankle sprain following five minutes of court time, but he made a good early impression with this drive and bucket:
Jeremiah Robinson-Earl, who went No. 32 in the 2021 draft, added 14 points for OKC.
Miami Heat 97, Denver Nuggets 77
R.J. Nembhard's 18 points off the bench led the Miami Heat to a comfortable 97-77 win over the Denver Nuggets.
KZ Okpala's 13-point, 11-rebound night and Max Strus' 13-point, six-board evening helped Miami jump out to a 30-12 lead after the first quarter.
The Heat held a 73-49 edge over Denver after three quarters.
Bol Bol had 21 points for Denver and made the highlight reel in the process:
Caleb Agada also had 21 points for Denver.
Los Angeles Lakers 73, Phoenix Suns 72
Austin Reaves' putback jumper with 2.5 seconds remaining gave the Los Angeles Lakers a 73-72 comeback win over the Phoenix Suns.
L.A. trailed for the entire second half until Mac McClung tied the game thanks to a mid-range jumper with 16.7 seconds left:
Suns guard Jaleen Smith hit 1-of-2 free throws in response to McClung's shot.
Lakers forward Vic Law attempted a game-winning three-pointer in response. That was off the mark, but Reaves was there for the rebound, bucket and win.
Four Lakers players scored in double digits: Devontae Cacok (13 points), Reaves and Chaundree Brown Jr. (11 each) and McClung (10).
Suns big man Jalen Smith posted 15 points and 12 rebounds to lead Phoenix. Smith, who the Suns selected 10th overall in the 2020 NBA draft out of Maryland, was the best player on the court for much of Sunday evening.
His nine-point, eight-rebound first half kept Phoenix within one possession following a sluggish offensive first half that ended with the Lakers leading 30-28.
The Suns caught fire in the third and matched their first-half point total in just one frame, taking a 56-49 lead going into the fourth.
However, Phoenix couldn't hang on as the Lakers stole the game with a late rally.