LAS VEGAS – The scenery might have changed, but in respect to how the 76ers’ summer league games have generally been playing out, not much was different.
Once again, the team found itself engaged in a tight battle that went down to the wire. Larry Drew II’s 20-foot, late-in-the-shot-clock, elbow jumper with (fittingly) 7.6 seconds remaining in regulation proved to be the difference Saturday, when the Sixers toppled the Golden State Warriors, 95-93, at Thomas & Mack Center.
The contest marked the Sixers’ debut in the MGM Resorts NBA Summer League, and gave them their second victory in a row, dating back to Thursday’s finale in the Utah Jazz Summer League.
Drew II, who finished with eight points (4-6 fg) and six assists, assumed a critical role in helping rally the Sixers after Markelle Fultz exited Saturday’s third quarter with an injury. The 2017 No. 1 pick was later diagnosed with an ankle sprain.
On the same sequence, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot sustained an upper lip laceration, and also was unable to return to action.
Prior to getting hurt, Fultz had scored eight points (3-12 fg), while providing a defensive effort that Lloyd Pierce, the Sixers’ assistant coaching the team in Las Vegas, called the prospect’s best yet.
The Sixers trailed by as many as 14 points Saturday. The back-and-forth affair featured 10 ties and 13 lead changes. In the Sixers’ four summer league games so far, the combined point differential has been only 15.
Furkan Korkmaz turned in arguably his finest performance in three appearances with the Summer Sixers. Looking fluid and confident on the offensive end while exerting a consistent defensive effort, the swing man netted a summer league-high 15 points on 5 of 9 shooting. Korkmaz also connected on 3 of 6 3-point attempts, with his final triple vaulting the Sixers in front, 86-84, with 4 minutes, 16 seconds to go. The 19-year old pitched in with four rebounds, two assists, and two steals, too.
Alex Poythress continued to offer the Sixers with steady contributions, doing so Saturday in a tough, hard-nosed fashion. During the final minute of play, he fought through a triple team to deposit a game-tying lay-up, at 93-93. Then, moments later, Poythress dove for a steal that ultimately set up Larry Drew II’s game-clinching jumper.
Jonah Bolden tallied 11 points (5-7 fg, 1-3 3fg) and 10 rebounds in 23 minutes. The double-double was the first manufactured by a member of the Sixers’ summer league roster.
A complete box score can be found here.
Larry Drew II supplied Saturday’s heroics, drilling the shot that allowed the Sixers to sneak past Golden State.
Quote of Note:
“Larry Drew obviously was huge. He made a game-winning shot, but he came to the huddle and told us we were going to win this game, and he was challenging our guys to pick the defensive effort up. He’s the point guard, he’s a coach’s son. We needed that at that time, and he delivered for us.” – Sixers assistant coach Lloyd Pierce on the impact that Larry Drew II had on Saturday’s outcome.
Sixers Summer League Stream Sounds:
Taking the court at Thomas & Mack Center for the second time in as many nights, the Sixers will again go up against the San Antonio Spurs, an opponent they fended off last Thursday in Salt Lake City. That night, the Sixers’ reserve corps combined for 66 points in the club’s 94-86 triumph. San Antonio is led, in part, by Bryn Forbes, who paced all players in the Utah Jazz Summer League with an average of 21.3 points per game. The rematch is slated to tip off Sunday at 10:30 PM EST.