Houston’s Green shines as virus interrupts NBA Summer League
LAS VEGAS (AP) — Jalen Green was without one of his Houston teammates for his NBA Summer League debut because of COVID-19 protocols, the same reason the Washington-Indiana game was postponed.
The second overall pick from this year’s draft helped bring the headlines back to the court.
Green scored 23 points to lead all five starters in double figures, winning a matchup with No. 3 overall choice Evan Mobley of Cleveland as the Rockets beat the Cavaliers 84-76 on Sunday night.
A couple of hours before Atlanta and Boston tipped off to open the Las Vegas Summer League, the league announced the postponement of the Wizards’ game against the Pacers because contact tracing left Washington without enough players.
There was no word from the NBA about Washington’s next scheduled game Tuesday against Sacramento.
Houston guard Armoni Brooks also was out because of COVID-19 protocols, but the game went on.
Green, who skipped college and prepared for the draft by playing in the G League, was 9 of 18 from the field and had five rebounds.
“The ultimate goal for the G League Ignite was to be a pro and learn the game as much as we can before we head up to the NBA,” Green said. “I think we accomplished that. We learned how to be a pro on and off the court. I think I showed it tonight.”
Expected to be a floor leader for the Rockets, Green had just two assists, but the second was a pass to a cutting K.J. Martin Jr. for a dunk and a 76-72 lead with 2:32 remaining. Martin then hit a 3 for a six-point lead and finished with 17 points.
Mobley, the 7-footer who turned pro after one season at Southern California, struggled from the field, going 6 of 17 for 12 points with five rebounds, and three blocks.
Turkey’s Alperen Sengun, one of four first-round picks for Houston after the 16th overall choice was acquired from Oklahoma City, had 15 points, 15 rebounds and four blocks. Josh Christopher, the 24th pick, scored 13.
Isaac Okoro, the fifth overall pick by the Cavaliers last year, led Cleveland with 17 points. Lamar Stevens had 15 points and nine rebounds. Mfiondu Kabengele had nine boards.
THUNDER 76, PISTONS 72
Theo Maledon had 15 points and 11 assists, and Oklahoma City beat Cade Cunningham and Detroit in the No. 1 overall pick’s Summer League debut.
Josh Giddey, the Thunder’s top choice this year at No. 6 out of Australia, didn’t return after spraining an ankle in the first quarter.
Cunningham, who spent one season at Oklahoma State, scored 12 points on 5-of-17 shooting and had five of the Pistons’ 20 turnovers. Second-year player Saddiq Bey led Detroit with 14 points.
Jeremiah Robinson-Earl scored 14 points for the Thunder, and Aaron Wiggins added 13.
RAPTORS 89, KNICKS 79
Fourth overall pick Scottie Barnes had 18 points, 10 rebounds and five assists to help Toronto beat New York.
Malachi Flynn, a late first-round pick last year, led the Raptors with 23 points, making four of five 3-pointers.
Second-year player Obi Toppin led the Knicks with 24 points. He and Jericho Sims, a second-round pick this year, had eight rebounds apiece.
Barnes, Toronto’s highest draft choice since taking Andrea Bargnani first overall in 2006, was 7 of 18 from the field.
Flynn hit a 3-pointer, and Ishmail Wainright scored five of his 10 points during a 10-0 run for a 56-45 Toronto lead late in the third quarter.
Wainright opened the fourth quarter with a 3 that started a 12-4 run. The former Baylor guard also finished the spurt with two free throws for a 73-57 lead.
Immanuel Quickley had 15 points and eight assists for the Knicks. Toronto’s Freddie Gillespie led all rebounders with 13.
HEAT 97, NUGGETS 77
Undrafted rookie RJ Nembhard Jr. scored 18 points in his Summer League debut, and Miami cruised past Denver.
KZ Okpala had 13 points and 11 rebounds, and Max Strus scored 13 for the Heat. Nembhard was 8 of 12 from the field and had six rebounds.
Bol Bol and Caleb Agada scored 21 points apiece for the Nuggets. Agada also has eight rebounds and five assists.
LAKERS 73, SUNS 72
Austin Reaves banked in a put-back on a missed 3-pointer with 2.5 seconds left, lifting Los Angeles over Phoenix.
Jaleen Smith made one of two free throws to give the Suns a 72-71 lead with 11 seconds to go. Vic Law missed a 3-pointer for LA, but Reaves jumped for the rebound and banked in a 15-footer before coming back down.
Phoenix’s Jalen Smith missed a 3 at the buzzer.
Devontae Cacok led the Lakers with 13 points and matched Law for the team lead with seven rebounds. Reaves and Chaundee Brown scored 11 points apiece, and Mac McClung had 10, including a tying jumper in the final minute.
Jalen Smith had 15 points and 12 rebounds, and Jaleen Smith scored 13.
CELTICS 85, HAWKS 83
Payton Pritchard scored 23 points with all seven buckets coming on 3-pointers, and Boston beat Atlanta.
Pritchard was 7 of 15 from 3 while missing his three attempts inside the arc, and the second-year guard had five rebounds and five assists. Carsen Edwards had 17 points, eight rebounds and six assists.
Jalen Johnson, the 20th overall pick out of Duke, led the Hawks with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Skylar Mays and DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell scored 13 points apiece.
The Celtics were down 81-77 in the final minute when Pritchard hit a 3, then assisted on the go-ahead 3 by Romeo Langford with 12 seconds left after Juhann Begarin’s steal. Langford scored 12 points.
TRAIL BLAZERS 93, HORNETS 86
Antonio Blakeney scored 27 points and 9-of-10 shooting, leading Portland over Charlotte.
James Bouknight, the 11th overall pick by the Hornets, scored 19 points, while No. 19 pick Kai Jones had 10 points and 10 rebounds. LiAngelo Ball scored 16 points for Charlotte.