NBA Summer League in Las Vegas begins, Ayton in action
And thousands of Phoenix Suns fans roared.
In that one moment, they saw a glimpse of what their team’s future may look like. The No. 1 pick in this year’s draft made his debut at the NBA Summer League on Friday night, and he walked off a winner as the Suns topped the Dallas Mavericks 92-85.
Ayton played 22 minutes, scoring 10 points on 4-for-6 shooting, with the alley-oop in the opening minutes being his first basket. He also grabbed eight rebounds, blocked a shot and committed five fouls.
”A lot of energy,” Ayton said, when asked for the takeaway from his first NBA game – albeit just of the summer variety. ”I could feel the energy around.”
Davon Reed and Mikal Bridges made things easy for Ayton and the Suns, each shooting 4 for 5 from 3-point range. Reed led the Suns with 18 points, while Bridges added 14.
”They showed up,” Ayton said. ”Some of these guys, they’re vets, they execute plays. They’re loud, vocal,” Ayton said. ”I felt very comfortable.”
Jalen Jones scored 16 points and Dennis Smith Jr. added 14 for Dallas (0-1). Luka Doncic did not play for Dallas, as he still awaits his clearance from his Real Madrid deal – which has to arrive before he can sign his contract with the Mavericks.
”I’m just excited to be here,” Doncic told ESPN in an in-game televised interview.
The Suns-Mavs game was part of a 10-game lineup on opening day in Las Vegas, where all 30 NBA franchises have sent a team for the first time. Leagues in Sacramento and Salt Lake City ended Thursday, with about 85,000 tickets sold over three days of play in each of those cities.
More than 125,000 fans went to the games in Las Vegas a year ago.
CELTICS 95, 76ERS 89
Furkan Korkmaz led all scorers with 40 points in a losing effort for Philadelphia (0-1). Korkmaz was 10 for 18 from the field, 8 for 14 from 3-point range and 12 for 15 from the foul line. Guerschon Yabusele and Semi Ojeleye each scored 16 points for Boston (1-0).
Trevon Duval scored 20 points and the rookie out of Duke also had three rebounds and two assists for Houston (1-0) in his summer league debut. Danuel House added 20 for the Rockets, while Isaiah Hartenstein finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds. Former UCLA point guard Aaron Holiday, the younger brother of NBA guards Jrue and Justin, had a game-high 23 points for Indiana (0-1).
Trevon Bluiett came off the bench for New Orleans (1-0) and scored a game-high 24 points. The 6-foot-5 guard out of Xavier, who went undrafted last month, was 6 for 8 from 3-point range and had six rebounds and two assists. Alfonzo McKinnie and Rawle Alkins each had 12 points for Toronto (0-1).
Troy Caupain scored 22 points, Jonathan Isaac had 20 points and seven rebounds, and Mohamed Bamba, the No. 6 pick in last month’s draft, added 11 points and seven boards for Orlando. Isaiah Briscoe added 16 points for the Magic (1-0). Shawn Dawson scored 20 points and Tyler Davis, who went undrafted out of Texas A&M, had 13 points for Brooklyn (0-1).
Malik Monk scored 23 points for Charlotte (1-0), which won a game where neither team ever led by more than eight points. Willy Hernangomez added 16 points and 14 rebounds for the Hornets. Rashawn Thomas scored 23 points, Dakari Johnson had 20 and Daniel Hamilton finished with 11 points, 12 rebounds and eight assists for the Thunder (0-1).
Ante Zizic had 16 points, 14 rebounds and five assists for Cleveland, which led by double figures from the start of the second quarter on and prevailed. First-round pick Collin Sexton scored 15 points and grabbed seven rebounds, while Cedi Osman finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds for the Cavaliers (1-0). Devin Robinson led Washington with 14 points, while Troy Brown Jr. scored 13 and Aaron Harrison 12. The Wizards (0-1) shot 30 percent from the field and were outrebounded 51-35.
Monte Morris scored 15 points, Vlatko Cancar added 11 and Malik Beasley 10 to help Denver – which led by 21 points going into the fourth – hold on for the win. Keita Bates-Diop, a second-round pick who finished with nine points and seven rebounds, missed a potential winner from just inside half-court at the buzzer. Isaiah Cousins led the Timberwolves with 15 points and Amile Jefferson scored 12 and grabbed 14 rebounds. First-round pick Josh Okogie shot 2 for 10 and finished with 10 points, seven rebounds, four assists, two steals and three blocks.
Kendrick Nunn, who went undrafted last month, hit 4 of 7 from 3-point range and finished with 18 points for Golden State (1-0). Josh Magette added 10 points, including a step-back 3 that made it 75-71 with 9.8 seconds to play. Sindarius Thornwell led the Clippers (0-1) with 18 points while first-round picks Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Jerome Robinson scored 13 and 12 points, respectively.
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