NBA Summer League Game 3: Nets 95, Pelicans 66

Nets (2-1), Pelicans (0-3)

LAS VEGAS – Excluding a few Brooklyn veterans such as Jeremy Lin and Trevor Booker who weren’t in uniform, many of the players on the floor Monday for the summer version of the Nets will comprise the rotation for the real Nets in 2017-18. Brooklyn’s large advantage in number of experienced NBA players was on full display, as it overpowered a much greener New Orleans squad at Cox Pavilion. The Pelicans finished pool play winless; they will open tournament competition Wednesday (time, opponent, arena TBD).


Brooklyn second-year pro Rondae Hollis-Jefferson raced down the floor for a lefty layup and three-point play, giving the Nets a 70-42 lead with 3:08 remaining in the third quarter. Brooklyn shortly thereafter went up by 30-plus.


New Orleans was ice-cold in the first quarter, shooting just 4/19 (21.1 percent) and setting the tone for a rough afternoon in the desert. Meanwhile, seven different Brooklyn players scored while building a 24-12 edge.


Quinn Cook authored a third consecutive quality performance, racking up 20 points on 7/14 shooting. Scoring ability has been Cook’s best trait as a pro; he’s provided even more evidence that he’s capable of getting  buckets over the past few days. The Duke product is 26/45 from the field overall in the three games, an outstanding percentage of 57.8, particularly for a guard. He averaged 20.3 points in pool play.


The NCAA tournament has four regions and 16 seeds in each, but it’s possible to be as low as a No. 24 seed in Las Vegas’ format. Unfortunately for the summer Pelicans, that’s a distinct possibility after they went 0-3 in pool play and only won a total of 2.5 quarters over those three games (quarters won is the first tiebreaking step while seeding teams). New Orleans was the victim of some very bad luck, losing games twice by two points. At the buzzer of NOLA’s tied quarter, Toronto made a three-pointer from a couple steps inside the halfcourt line.


“They’ve got a pretty good roster over there (Brooklyn) that generally is playing 82 games. It’s a tremendous learning experience. I think our guys were a little tired coming in, but that’s part of it.” – Pelicans summer head coach Jamelle McMillan on the one-sided loss

“They get all the credit. They made plays. The attacked us in transition and were communicating. You can tell that those guys have experience. But at the end of the day, they lace their shoes on just like us. We knew we have to compete. I thought we ran out of gas a little bit, but we kept fighting and competing.” – Cook on the Nets’ dominant play and its impact on the Pelicans

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