Cleveland Cavaliers 72, San Antonio Spurs 66
No. 7-seed Cleveland and No. 10 San Antonio tipped of Round 2 of the 2013 Summer League Championship, with the Cavs winning 72-66 in a hard-fought contest. Dion Waiters was the game’s top scorer, putting up 27 points on 12-23 shooting.
Waiters hit early on some nice pull-up jumpers and showed patience with his post moves — a new wrinkle that is turning into a real weapon for him. He added two nice reverse lay-ups following good off-ball cuts. When faced with a big man defending him on a switch, he looked to attack the basket rather than settle for a lazy step-back — a very encouraging development, as Waiters’ poor shooting performances last season often came as a result of that over-reliance on contested 20-foot jumpers.
Matthew Dellavedova provided a good example of how a player can impact a game without scoring a point. Defensively, he is tough to shake and did a nice job slowing down Cory Joseph (only one point and three assists in 14 minutes). On the downside, Dellavedova struggled shooting the ball, as he has all summer. He brings leadership and enthusiasm that you can’t teach, but his shot will need to improve if he hopes to ever make an NBA roster.
Aron Baynes established himself as a strong presence inside for the Spurs, posting a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds. Baynes isn’t the most athletic of NBA players, but he has good footwork and can finish with both hands. He got the better of his match-up with the less physical Tyler Zeller (one point, five boards). Marcus Denmon came off the bench and made an immediate impact, hitting three from deep early in the game. Denmon finished with 19 points (7-14, 5-10 from 3), two rebounds and four assists.
The Cavaliers will play their quarterfinal game Saturday in Thomas and Mack Center.
Buycks ran the Raptors’ offense well, consistently finding the open man. He created his own shot, effectively breaking down his defender while also hitting the outside shot, finishing with 18 points (6-11 shooting), six rebounds and 10 assists.
Despite committing 19 personal fouls in his first three games, the physical Jonas Valanciunas coped well with the six-foul rule today. Valanciunas finished with 15 points, 12 rebounds, three assists and two blocks. He showed solid fundamentals and a soft touch passing out of the post, including a nice backdoor bounce pass to Buycks and a skip pass to an open shooter.
Terrence Ross attacked the basket and spent a good chunk of the game at the foul line. He was a little unlucky not to convert on a couple of more field goals. The arc and rotation on Ross’ outside shot continues to look good. He finished with 17 points (4-9, 8-9 FT) and eight rebounds.
In addition to his trademark hustle and off-ball cuts, Quincy Acy displayed a surprising outside touch, connecting on jumpers out to 20 feet. Coby Karl shot well from long range and converted on a nice drive for his 13 points.
Jordan Hamilton started quickly once again, burying his early looks from long range. His highlight came on a two-handed follow-up slam off an Evan Fournier miss. Quincy Miller powered through some tough defensive match-ups against much bigger players, guarding both Acy and Valanciunas during the game. His had his moments on offense, finishing on a nice drive and hitting a couple of long jumpers. Luke Harangody contributed 10 points and five rebounds off the bench for Denver.
Phoenix Suns 92, Portland Trailblazers 84
The No. 3 Phoenix Suns defeated the No. 19 Portland Trailblazers 92-84 to set up a quarterfinal match against the Toronto Raptors. Dionte Christmas and Markieff Morris each scored 15 points for the Suns, who have yet to drop a game this summer.
Markieff Morris is a beast in summer league, collecting another double double (15 and 10) without playing the entire fourth quarter today. Once again, he showed his versatility, also recording three assists, two steals and a block. Christmas was efficient from the floor in his 20 minutes of action. He competes hard, runs the floor and shows good energy at both ends of the court — much like he did last summer. Rookie Archie Goodwin didn’t shoot well from the field, with his only bucket coming on a late three pointer, but he had success getting to the line and hustled well at both ends of the floor. He finished the game with 10 points (1-6 shooting) and four rebounds.
PJ Tucker was effective at both ends, collecting 10 points, six rebounds and three steals, including two fast-break dunks. Tucker was active defensively and applied good pressure in his 18 minutes of action. Diante Garrett (14 points) showed a nice shooting touch and breakdown ability, easily losing C.J McCollum on one occasion.
McCollum led the Blazers yet again with 22 points on 9-26 shooting. He rushed some shots and struggled finishing at the rim, but his mid-range game continues to be a strength. He also collected four rebounds, five assists and two steals. Will Barton added 21, shooting 8-21 from the field, to go along with eight boards and two steals. Barton is a little out of control at times offensively, but his enthusiasm and defensive hustle is relentless.
Big man Meyers Leonard used his soft touch around the basket to connect on some nice jump hooks. He even stepped out to knock down a three pointer. Leonard finished with 15 points, 13 rebounds and two assists to go along with a technical after an exchange with Marcus Morris. Thomas Robinson continued his solid play, posting another double double with 14 points, 11 rebounds, two steals and a block. Robinson is a physical player who can run the floor and finish a break, throwing down a dunk from a Barton feed. He also showed his ability to step out and make an outside shot.
Miami Heat 68, Chicago Bulls 62
In the final game in COX Pavilion on Day 7, No. 18 Miami threw up slightly fewer bricks than No. 2 Chicago in this 68-62 rock fight. The Heat were led by Travis Leslie and Damion James, who put up 13 points each.
The Heat’s second-best James contributed in a number of ways. He has the ability to hit the outside shot, as well as pull down defensive rebounds and push the ball. James hit a couple of jumpers in the final quarter to help secure the win for Miami. He finished with 13 points, eight rebounds and two blocked shots.
James Ennis was instrumental in getting the win for the Heat in the fourth quarter. He got up the court as quickly as anyone and worked his tail off on the defensive end. Ennis and his relentless motor registered 11 points, six rebounds, two assists and two steals.
Marquis Teague had a game-high 21 points, going 5-11 from the field for the Bulls. Teague can nearly penetrate at will and did a nice job getting to the line, where he shot 9-10. He drew a strong reaction from the crowd with a nice lay-up after shaking his defender with a behind-the-back dribble. To be a more complete player, his outside shot will need some work.
Tony Snell didn’t shoot well, but contributed in other ways, putting up seven points, 12 rebounds, two assists and a block. He got off to a good start, knocking down an early three pointer. Snell also showed his vision with some nice passes, but his teammates struggled to finish on a couple of occasions.
Malcolm Thomas might not have equaled some of his phenomenal scoring performances earlier this summer, but will once again push for a SL All-Star selection with his play this week. Thomas works hard every game and is tough to handle on the offensive boards. He tallied nine points and 13 rebounds.
Miami will play the Cleveland Cavaliers in Saturday’s quarterfinal.
In other Summer League playoff action…
Charlotte Bobcats 92, Memphis Grizzlies 84
Jerome Dyson led Charlotte with 21, with Cody Zeller and Jeff Taylor each adding 18 in the Bobcats’ victory. For Memphis, Vander Blue came off the bench to pour in 24, which kept the Grizz in the game despite Tony Wroten and his 2-15, five-turnover performance.
Los Angeles Lakers 72 , Milwaukee Bucks 68
Golden State Warriors 79, Dallas Mavericks 76
Each year, one non-lottery pick always seems to emerge as a Summer League folk hero. This year, it’s Kent Bazemore. The defensive ace and bench-celebration guru has added some wrinkles to his offensive game, leading the Warriors with 25 points. He could emerge as a Danny Green-esque glue guy for Golden State if he can figure out how to knock down a few more 3s (just 1-6 today). As for Dallas, four players scored in double figures, led by Justin Dentmon with 19.
D-League Select 83, Minnesota Timberwolves 75
Break up the D-League select! This group of NBA castoffs has banded together to dominate the LVSL, going 4-0 thus far. Former Wisconsin standout Brian Butch topped all scorers with 18. Othyus Jeffers and John Holland led Minny with 11 each. Shabazz Muhammad was unable to replicate his terrific effort from Thursday, finishing with just six points on 2-8 shooting and nothing else in the stat sheet, save for a foul.