NBA Summer League 2018: Scores and Highlights from Wednesday's Las Vegas Results

Alec Nathan@@AlecBNathanFeatured ColumnistJuly 11, 2018

LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 9:  Shai Gilgeous-Alexander #2 of the LA Clippers handles the ball against the Houston Rockets during the 2018 Las Vegas Summer League on July 9, 2018 at the Thomas & Mack Center in Las Vegas, Nevada. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Single-elimination tournament play got underway Wednesday at the Las Vegas Summer League following three games of pool play per side.

In all, 16 teams were in action Wednesday at Cox Pavilion and Thomas & Mack Center, including Trae Young and the Atlanta Hawks and Collin Sexton and the Cleveland Cavaliers.

As always, the updated bracket can be viewed at NBA.com.

Here's a look at the day's results and a rundown of which youngsters stood out with second-round berths on the line.

         

Wednesday's Schedule and Results

Los Angeles Clippers def. Washington Wizards, 89-74

Cleveland Cavaliers def. Sacramento Kings, 96-84

Houston Rockets def. Brooklyn Nets, 109-102

Chicago Bulls def. Dallas Mavericks, 95-83

Detroit Pistons def. Minnesota Timberwolves, 64-59

Atlanta Hawks def. Indiana Pacers, 107-101

Toronto Raptors def. Denver Nuggets, 85-77

Charlotte Hornets def. Golden State Warriors, 87-69

     

Wednesday's Takeaways

Shai Gilgeous-Alexander Looks the Part of Lottery Pick

Watch Shai Gilgeous-Alexander run the Los Angeles Clippers' summer league offense, and it's hard not to come away impressed.

The Kentucky product has never looked overwhelmed by the task at hand, and he's dictated pace in the half court and transition. That was evident again Wednesday when he lived at the rim and racked up 17 points to go with a team-high six assists.

But it wasn't just the numbers. It was the way Gilgeous-Alexander piled them up.

SGA looked comfortable as could be running high pick-and-rolls, and what stood out most was his ability to use a sliver of daylight, turn the corner and leave defenders in the dust to finish at the rim.

And even when players were sitting on his hip, SGA used his 7-foot wingspan to convert close-range looks unbothered.

Looks won't be that easy once the regular season rolls around since opponents will undoubtedly slide under pick-and-rolls in an effort to pack the paint and cut off driving lanes. But if Gilgeous-Alexander can gain some more confidence in his mid-range jumper to keep defenses guessing, his ceiling should rise in a major way.

      

Collin Sexton Flashes Ability to Fill Cavs' Playmaking Void

Last season, LeBron James logged a 31.6 percent usage rate for the Cleveland Cavaliers. But now that he's gone, a massive piece of the playmaking pie is up for grabs.

Enter Collin Sexton, who has embraced a primary on-ball role throughout summer league and looked sharp in that capacity again Wednesday as the Cavaliers throttled the Kings to extend their stay in Sin City.

The No. 8 overall pick paced Cleveland with 25 points and seven assists, and he constantly attacked downhill to keep the offense humming.

"He's been showing it from day one, just his toughness," Cavaliers summer league coach James Posey said, per the Las Vegas Review-Journal's Sam Gordon. "He's going to get better, but right now he’s doing a great job."

Above all else, Sexton looks fearless.

While he hasn't been immune to mistakes—he added three turnovers to his ledger on Wednesday—a commitment to pushing the pace, collapsing the defense and generating clean looks in transition and half-court sets has inspired confidence that he can step into a featured role right away.

Hiccups are sure to arise, but Sexton's driven demeanor is the kind Cleveland should be looking to build around with James in Los Angeles.

     

Jarrett Allen is an Under-the-Radar Breakout Candidate

It was easy to miss, but Jarrett Allen came on toward the end of his rookie season with the Brooklyn Nets.

After playing 18.2 minutes per game prior to the All-Star break, Allen blossomed in a bigger role over the second half of the 2017-18 campaign. He averaged 9.4 points and 6.1 boards across his final 22 appearances, all of which were starts.

In summer league games, he's built on that closing surge.

Although the Nets lost Wednesday's first-round showdown against the Rockets, Allen was bursting with confidence as he bulldozed his way to 13 points and 11 rebounds while serving up off-the-dribble posters:

Now rolling toward his second season with a full head of steam, Allen looks like a strong favorite to serve as Brooklyn's starting center while the Nets focus on making bigger developmental strides and busting out of the Atlantic Division cellar.

In other words, don't be surprised if Allen inches toward a full-fledged breakout as he continues to gain the trust of head coach Kenny Atkinson.

     

Wendell Carter Jr.'s Efficiency Remains a Sight to Behold

Wendell Carter Jr. entered Wednesday shooting 57 percent from the field in Vegas, and that number is set to skyrocket after he burned the Dallas Mavericks for 19 points and nine rebounds on 9-of-11 shooting.

Carter didn't attempt any threes Wednesday after draining his lone attempt on Tuesday against the Atlanta Hawks, but he made the most of his other looks—whether they were second-chance attempts in the paint or nifty turnarounds from the mid-post:

A legitimate three-level scorer, Carter is already emerging as a force to be reckoned with. If he can maintain his efficient scoring stylings when the regular season rolls around, he could emerge as a trendy Rookie of the Year candidate.

     

Bruce Brown Guns for Roster Spot with Strong Showing vs. Timberwolves

The Detroit Pistons didn't have a first-round pick in last month's draft, but they took a couple of gambles in the second round on Miami's Bruce Brown and Creighton's Khyri Thomas.

On Wednesday, Brown proved why he was worth a dice roll with 15 points, 11 rebounds, six assists and five steals in a stellar two-way showing.

Of course, it was just one game and standard summer league caveats always apply.

But given Detroit's uninspiring corps of wings that currently consists of Reggie Bullock, Langston Galloway, Luke Kennard, Stanley Johnson and Glenn Robinson III, it's fair to wonder if Brown could make some noise and challenge for a spot on the 15-man roster when training camp arrives.

     

Trae Young's Second-Half Performance Shows Immense Playmaking Potential

On Tuesday, we saw what Trae Young was capable of as a marksman when he scored 24 points and drilled seven threes against the Chicago Bulls.

On Wednesday, it was all about passing.

Although Young scored 23 points on 7-of-14 shooting (2-of-7 from three), it was his distributive prowess that stole the show.

The former Oklahoma floor general racked up eight dimes as he helped lead the Hawks back from a 27-point deficit to down the Pacers, 107-101, and he displayed a natural ability to make heady drive-and-kick dishes in the game's waning stages:

ESPN.com's Kevin Pelton and the Washington Post's Tim Bontemps both highlighted Young's superlative play in crunch time:

The 19-year-old still has to cut down on turnovers in a major way after he posted five more Wednesday to boost his Vegas total to 15, but he's starting to show why the Hawks are confident he can be a game-changing playmaker in due time.

     

Monte Morris Continues to Jockey for Playing Time

The Denver Nuggets have a hole to fill at backup point guard this summer, and a quality in-house option has emerged thanks to the steady stylings of Monte Morris.

The former Iowa State standout played a grand total of 25 minutes across three games for the Nuggets last season after signing a two-way contract, but he's looked quite sharp during Denver's stay in the desert.

After averaging 16.3 points, 6.0 assists and 3.7 rebounds over the Nuggets' first three games, Morris registered 21 points (7-of-12 shooting) and seven helpers as Denver fell to the Toronto Raptors on Wednesday night.

At the very least, that consistency should have Morris on Denver's radar as a contender to pick up minutes behind Jamal Murray in the event the front office doesn't sign a veteran to fill the void left by Devin Harris.

     

Miles Bridges' Jumper Stays Shaky in Win Over Warriors

Whenever Miles Bridges was discussed throughout the predraft process, the biggest question mark was always his jump shot.

We're seeing why.

Bridges shot 36 percent from the field in three games prior to single-elimination play, and he wasn't much more efficient Wednesday with 17 points on 6-of-15 shooting, including 1-of-4 from three, in the Hornets' 87-69 win over the Golden State Warriors.

As long as those struggles linger, Bridges will have to lean more on his dribble-drive and slashing capabilities to make his presence felt in the scoring column.

He'll hope to do just that when the Hornets continue their Vegas run in Round 2 against the Raptors.

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