LAS VEGAS – In their last of three preliminary-round games of the MGM Resorts NBA Summer League tournament, the 76ers bowed to the Boston Celtics Tuesday, 88-83, at Thomas & Mack Center in what was another hard-fought confrontation.
After a one-game absence caused by an upper lip laceration sustained in Saturday’s last-second victory over the Golden State Warriors, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot returned to action, and brought with him an aggressive attitude. The rising second-year wingman tallied a game-high 16 points (4-13 fg, 3-5 3fg, 5-7 ft), while adding six rebounds and three assists.
As was the case in the first summer clash between the Sixers and Celtics in the opener of last week’s Utah Jazz Summer League, Jayson Tatum again delivered key contributions in crunch time. He assisted on a tiebreaking basket with just under two minutes to go in the fourth quarter, and moments later summoned up an impressive length-of-the-floor driving lay-up to stretch the C’s lead to two possessions.
Tatum, the No. 3 pick in this year’s draft, notched 15 points (6-15 fg, 1-2 3fg, 2-4 ft) and six boards for Boston, which used an 11-3 spurt at the outset of the final frame to erase the seven-point margin the Sixers carried into the period.
Mathias Lessort, the 50th overall selection in this year’s draft, made his summer league debut for the Sixers. The French forward was given the go-ahead to play earlier Tuesday after receiving clearance from FIBA. Coming off the bench, Lessort posted four points (1-2 fg), four rebounds, a steal, and a blocked shot. More than tangible statistics, the 21-year old supplied the Sixers with a rugged, physical, active defensive presence, helping create several deflections.
Along with Lessort, Melo Trimble was one of Tuesday’s top performers, according to coach Lloyd Pierce. With minutes to be had in the Sixers’ backcourt, the Maryland product took advantage of an increased role versus Boston, notching 13 points on the strength of a 3 for 5 display from 3-point territory. Trimble had previously appeared in only one summer league game.
A complete box score can be found here.
Markelle Fultz might not have been available to suit up for the Sixers Tuesday, but the 2017 No.1 pick still found a way to make a positive impact at Thomas & Mack Center.
Quote of Note:
“It definitely means something to me. I’ve got a Sixers jersey on. It’s a summer league game. It’s the first time in my life this happened, so I really feel blessed for that opportunity, and I got to take advantage of it.” – Mathias Lessort, on making his first appearance of any kind for the Sixers (he even had the chance to chat up countryman the Stifle Tower a bit).
Sixers Summer League Stream Sounds:
When next on the floor at the NBA Summer League, the Sixers will step into the competition’s tournament phase. This space will be updated once seedings and game times are finalized later Tuesday evening / early Wednesday morning. Regardless of where the Sixers ultimately wind up in the bracket, they’re guaranteed at least two more games in Las Vegas.