NBA Summer League 2018: Scores, Highlights from Las Vegas Semifinal Results

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJuly 17, 2018

LAS VEAGS, NV - JULY 16: Josh Hart #5 of the Los Angeles Lakers handles the ball against the Cleveland Cavaliers during the 2018 Las Vegas Summer League on July 16, 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)
Garrett Ellwood/Getty Images

The NBA Summer League inched toward its conclusion Monday in Las Vegas, with two semifinal games at the Thomas & Mack Center.

The Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Lakers battled in the first matchup, with the Memphis Grizzlies and Portland Trail Blazers bringing the night to a close. First-round draft pick Collin Sexton and Lakers guard Josh Hart were among the young stars on display.

Here's a look at how Monday's action unfolded.

     

Monday Results

Los Angeles Lakers 112, Cleveland Cavaliers 109 (2OT)

Portland Trail Blazers 97, Memphis Grizzlies 92

     

Monday Recap

Josh Hart Worthy of Starting Consideration with New-Look Lakers

The Lakers outlasted the Cavaliers to earn a 112-109 victory in double overtime.

Sexton had 27 points and two assists, but Hart stole the show. The Lakers shooting guard scored a game-high 37 points and finished a rebound short of a double-double:

Bleacher Report's Eric Pincus also drew attention to Hart's 6-of-15 clip from three-point range:

Not much time has transpired since the close of the 2017-18 season, but Spectrum SportsNet's John Ireland thought Hart was already showing clear progression on the court:

With the arrival of LeBron James, the Lakers' focus immediately shifted from building toward the future to contending for a title right now. That's a large reason they signed experienced veterans such as JaVale McGee, Rajon Rondo and Lance Stephenson.

Despite that, Lakers head coach Luke Walton should give Hart a serious look as the starting 2-guard to open the 2018-19 season. At the very least, Hart is a comparable talent to Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, and he arguably has a higher upside than Caldwell-Pope.

James is signed for at least three years, so Los Angeles has to look beyond 2018-19 to some extent. The team shouldn't overlook how valuable a young, cost-controlled guard can be to its roster.

     

Summer League Providing Great Springboard for Zach Collins' Career

The Blazers will meet the Lakers in the final for the second year in a row after beating the Grizzlies 97-92 in the semifinals.

Caleb Swanigan (21 points, 16 rebounds) and Zach Collins (13 points, 12 rebounds) both posted double-doubles in the victory.

For Collins, the summer league has provided an opportunity for forward momentum after a mostly underwhelming rookie year. Collins hasn't been outstanding in Vegas, but he has offered flashes of his obvious potential:

Portland had the future in mind when it acquired Collins on the night of the 2017 draft. He averaged 17.3 minutes in his only season with the Gonzaga Bulldogs, and he joined an already-crowded frontcourt with the Blazers.

Like Steven Adams, Collins will need two or three years before he becomes a productive big man in the NBA. Playing in the summer league has provided him with an opportunity to further his development.

"He's worked really hard this summer," Blazers summer league coach Jim Moran said, per NBC Sports Northwest's Jamie Hudson. "I think he's just continuing to grow, continuing to learn our system. He finds his spots, where he's going to get his shots and I think he's doing a really good job on the defensive end, especially with those switches."

With Ed Davis gone, Collins should assume a bigger role for Portland. When that happens, he should start justifying what was a relatively big investment by the Blazers when they traded two first-round picks to the Sacramento Kings.

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