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NBA Summer League: Day 3

Sun, 07/12/2009 - 7:46pm
Day 3's standouts including George Hill (25 pts), Brandon Jennings (23 pts, 8 ast), Darren Collison (19 pts), Jodie Meeks (16 pts) and Marcus Williams who set the Las Vegas SL record for assists with 17.

San Antonio 92 New Orleans 86
Box Score

George HillGeorge HillThe Spurs pulled out a tough 92-86 victory over the New Orleans Hornets to open their 2009 SL campaign. The game featured one of the best match ups thus far through the Summer League with rookie PG Darren Collison matching up with 2nd year PG George Hill. Both played well with Hill getting the upper hand in the end with San Antonio pulling out the victory. Hill finished with 25 (7-13 FG), 3 ast , 4 to, to Collison's 19 (6-13) 6 ast, 5 boards and 3 to.

After an explosive start to the game which saw some exciting dunks, the Hornets snuck out too a 24-18 lead thanks to strong play from Julian Wright and some poor spurs shooting (33%).Wright finished the first with 6 points, 4 rebs, 1 ast. Spurs PG George Hill did his best to keep the Spurs close, scoring 9 of his own, including a strong dunk in traffic. Pittsburgh second rounder DeJuan Blair came off the bench to put up 5 points, 5 rebounds in 6 minutes of action.

The shooting percentages evened out in the second quarter, as the Spurs connected on some good looks, Romel Beck in particular. After missing his first couple of attempts, Beck exploded for 11 in the second showing his outside touch and ability to get to the basket.

Malik Hairston had a great start to the second half, pouring in 8 points in the first 3 minutes. In one sequence, he followed a three by streaking down court for a dunk, helping the Spurs to a 5 point lead midway through the period. A three point play from Thornton from Collison tied the game at 54. Hairston finished the the quarter as he started hitting his 6th straight shot totaling 13 pts in the quarter. UCLA rookie Collison had 7 pts, 3reb, 3ast in the third alone, including a buzzer beater to give his team a 65-63 lead.

Earl Barron had mixed fortune late in the game. He first made 2 free throws to give Hornets the lead then made a phenomenal block. His good work came undone when he couldn't control a nice Collison feed under the basket.

Second round draft pick Blair (13 pts,10 reb) was strong in his Spurs debut posting a double double (13 and 10) in 22 minutes. While Spurs second rounder Jack McClinton was quiet and had limited opportunities.

Houston 79 Minnesota 65

Box Score

Syracuse PG Jonny Flynn got his SL off to a good start, connecting on two three pointers and dishing out 2 assists to give the Timberwolves a narrow 1 point lead after the first. Chase Budinger got the start today, matching up with UNC rookie Wayne Ellington, and was solid once again.

Minnesota started the second cold, only making 1 of 5 shots with Flynn sitting. Flynn returned and twice set up Garrett Siler for dunks to bring his team to within 3. Budinger displayed his nice passing ability finding Garrett Temple cutting baseline for an easy bucket. The Timberwolves could have considered themselves lucky to be down only 4 thanks to a buzzer beating three from Rob Kurz.

The T-Wolves cold shooting continued in the third with Ellington desperate to get going. He finally got his first basket of the game two minutes in after going 0/3 in the first 90 seconds of the second half. Budinger however came out and hit 4 quick points to push the Rockets lead out to 8. The T-wolves good work on the boards was undone by their poor shooting (5/22 fg) and they found themselves in a 12 point deficit going into the final period.

Corey Brewer started the 4th with 6 points in the first 2 minutes to make it a 9 point game, he finished with 14 points, most of which came in garbage time. Minnesota's shooting unfortunately didn't improve, finishing up at a woeful 33% and the T-Wolves couldn't close the gap the final quarter. Oleksiy Pecherov showed his outside touch swishing 2 long balls for 6 points, but little else.

The Timberwolves draft picks showed some signs in the squad's first run in SL. Ellington shot miserably (4 pts, 2-12), however he did hit the glass, adding a couple of steals and 8 boards. Johnny Flynn showed his outside shot, but struggled shooting (3-10). He's got the ability to penetrate, and find teammates, however will need to reduce his turnovers (7 ast with 7 to). For the Rockets, Budinger was effective and has been one of the Rocket's most consistent performers in their 3 games. Jermaine Taylor showed flashes in his 23 minutes with 11 points on 4-11 shooting.

Memphis 86 Oklahoma City 57
Box Score

The "headline" game on day 3 featured the SL debut of #2 pick Hasheem Thabeet and the #3 pick James Harden. This game quickly turned into a rout with the Grizzlies building a 29 point edge by the final buzzer. The Thunder came out flat, with their five games from last week in the Orlando Summer League being the possible explanation.

Marcus Williams, attempting to make it with his third team (Memphis), stole the show, dishing out 17 assists smashing the previous mark by 6.

Pittsburgh rookie Sam Young (14 pts 3 rebs) did an excellent job matching up with Harden and forced the Thunder to take an early time out after he hit 6 points in the first 2 minutes. Thabeet was solid totaling 7 points, 2 rebs and changing a few shots. Russell Westbrook (14 pts 2 rebs 3 ast) got his team rolling with a 3 and both of the Thunder's 2009 draft picks soon followed. James Harden struggled in limited (18) minutes (4 pts 3 ast 1/5 fg).

Donta Smith got the attention of the crowd with an impressive fast break dunk. Thabeet's presence continued to disrupt the Thunder's offense. Kyle Weaver made 3 three's in the period for 11 points, while Westbrook contributed 8pts, 2 rebs, 3 ast. A steal and 15 foot buzzer beater from Shaun Livingston cut the Memphis lead to 10 at the half.

Westbrook got his team off to an encouraging start in the second half with a drive to cut the lead to 12. First rounder (27th pick) DeMarre Carroll scored 5 points early in the second to help reassume control for the Grizzlies. With Memphis shooting over 50%, the lead ballooned out to 20 late in the third. Oklahoma City had no choice but to step up their defensive effort and managed to cut the lead to 14 going into the 4th. But it was all Memphis the rest of the way as OKC rested their exhausted stars.

Thabeet was solid without being spectacular. It was his presence along with the defensive job done on Harden that largely contributed to he lopsided score. Young enjoyed a good game on both ends of the floor showing strong defensive pressure. DeMarre Carroll did a nice job of knocking down midrange shots and finishing on the break, although his teammate Young is more impressive. Mullens only saw 13 minutes of action but looked alright hitting both of his field goal attempts.

Advantage Thabeet in the face off between # 2 and 3 picks, however Harden played very well in Orlando SL so he deserves some slack.

Milwaukee 80 Cleveland 69
Box Score

Brandon JenningsBrandon JenningsThe Milwaukee Bucks defeated the Cleveland Cavaliers 80-69 in the final game of day 3. Brandon Jennings 23 pts (7-18), 8 ast, 5 stl showed why he was the 10h pick in the draft seizing control of this one in the second half after being challenged and roughed up (elbowed in the ribs) by Jamont Gordon. Teammate Luc Mbah a Moute was also very impressive applying pressure on the defensive end and connecting on a basket at the first quarter buzzer to give the Bucks a 24-23 advantage.

The Cavs went ahead in the second behind some great shooting and blew the lead out to 10 on a Danny Green (11 pts 3 rebs) jumper. First rounder Christian Eyenga (10 pts 3 rebs) looked more comfortable today starting 3/3 and making a nice drive & dish for a three pointer.

It was the Bucks combo of Jennings and Mbah a Moute however who led Milwaukee out to a comfortable second half lead. Mbah a Moute was doing a bit of everything during the run, including scoring, rebounding and diffusing a Cleveland fast break opportunity. Jodie Meeks contributed with a jumper to bring the bucks within 2 points at half time.

The third quarter was the Brandon Jennings show as the Preps to Euro trailblazer got hot, draining 2 straight three's and a long two in the first 3 minutes to build a 10 point lead which blew the game wide open for Milwaukee. Meeks was also instrumental in the Bucks run making 8 points of his own in the period. The Cavs meanwhile had no answers and their shooting plummeted, going a miserable 4/16 in the third for a total of 9 team points. Having completed a remarkable turnaround, the Bucks took a commanding 15 point lead heading into the final period.

Leo Lyons was one of the few shining lights for the cavs, looking comfortable inside and from mid range. There is no doubting Eyenga's athletic ability and he did look more comfortable today but at the moment he looks a ways off from playing in the NBA.

Cleveland was a lot more competitive in the 4th, but never close enough to really make it interesting. The damage was done in the third by Jennings, who had one of the best single quarter performances so far putting the game out of reach.

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