NBA Summer League 2021: Updated Las Vegas Schedule, Standings and Top Stats

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistAugust 15, 2021

Minnesota Timberwolves guard Jaylen Nowell plays during the second half of an NBA basketball game, Tuesday, May 11, 2021, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)
Carlos Osorio/Associated Press

Four undefeated teams at the NBA Summer League will try to join the Boston Celtics in the four-win club Sunday.

The Sacramento Kings, Minnesota Timberwolves, New Orleans Pelicans and Utah Jazz come into Sunday in a four-way tie at 3-0.

The championship match for the 2021 Summer League is determined by the two best records after four pool-play contests. If a tie occurs, head-to-head matchups will be used as the first tiebreaker and then point differential. Boston is the clubhouse leader in the standings at 4-0 with a plus-21 point differential.

The Kings will attempt to set the standard for the other three teams in Sunday's first game against the Dallas Mavericks. Utah is the next member of the quartet on the floor, while Minnesota and New Orleans will follow in that order.

The full standings going into Sunday can be found on the league's official website.


NBA Summer League Sunday Schedule

Dallas vs. Sacramento (3 p.m. ET, ESPN2)

Milwaukee vs. Washington (4 p.m. ET, ESPN3)

Utah vs. Los Angeles Clippers (5 p.m. ET, ESPN2)

Brooklyn vs. San Antonio (6 p.m. ET, ESPN3)

Minnesota vs. Philadelphia (7 p.m. ET, ESPN2)

Orlando vs. Houston (8 p.m. ET, ESPN3)

Golden State vs. New Orleans (9 p.m. ET, ESPN2)

Memphis vs. Chicago (10 p.m. ET, ESPN3)


The championship matchup could be determined by which undefeated squad scores the most points.

Minnesota holds the slight advantage on average point differential over New Orleans, Sacramento and Utah in that order.

The Timberwolves catch a Philadelphia 76ers team that is on the second leg of a back-to-back series and lost by 20 points to the Celtics on Saturday.

Jaylen Nowell carried the Wolves through their first three games in Las Vegas. He is one of eight players to average more than 21 points per game and produced 26 points in Friday's win over the Milwaukee Bucks. Nowell might go head-to-head with Philadelphia's Tyrese Maxey, who leads the Summer League in points per game, but the second-year player did not play against Boston.

Nowell and Jaden McDaniels have formed a nice inside-outside punch that has put the Wolves in a good spot to challenge for the title. McDaniels put up 17 points, five rebounds and three assists in his most recent appearance. Minnesota should know the total it needs to put up to clinch a spot in the final since Sacramento and Utah play before it.

The Kings are expected to defeat the winless Dallas Mavericks. First-round draft pick Davion Mitchell has been the star on both sides of the floor for the Kings. He and Jahmi'us Ramsey each scored 19 points in the Kings' win over the Memphis Grizzlies. If Sacramento's backcourt duo produces at the same clip Sunday, the Kings will be in the best position possible to land in the final.

Utah also faces a winless squad in the Los Angeles Clippers. The Clippers and Mavericks are in danger of joining the Charlotte Hornets as the only 0-4 squads in Summer League. Utah's offense is powered by Trent Forrest, who was one of four starters in double figures on Friday. Udoka Azubuike should be a problem down low for the Clippers defense as well.

If Sacramento and Utah win by large margins and Minnesota handles Philadelphia, all the pressure will be on New Orleans to boost its average point differential against one of the most talented squads in Las Vegas. The Pelicans will be forced to contain rookie Golden State Warriors duo Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody while finding a way to put up a larger margin of victory compared to Minnesota.

New Orleans held Evan Mobley of the Cleveland Cavaliers to eight points Friday night. The Pelicans need to channel the same defensive strengths to deal with Kuminga down low Sunday.

Kira Lewis Jr. and Naji Marshall, who were reserves for the Pelicans last year, have been the squad's driving force in Nevada. If they continue to play well and first-round pick Trey Murphy hits a handful of three-point shots, the Pelicans should have enough offense to get past the exciting Warriors squad.

If Minnesota and New Orleans both win, the Pelicans need to overcome the one-point deficit in average point differential. If one of the four undefeated teams falters, it will be out of contention for the championship game.

All of the teams that do not qualify for the championship game will play additional consolation games against yet-to-be-determined opponents.