Let's get up to speed on what the former Marquette basketball players were up to over the weekend out in Las Vegas, shall we?
Friday, July 17
Utah 84, Los Angeles Lakers 78 - The Jazz had a nine point lead at several points in the fourth quarter of this one, but Bryce Cotton lived up to his "Ice" nickname from his Providence days to can four free throws in the waning seconds to put the game away.
Three guys from Utah scored in double figures, led by 20 points from Trey Lyles. D`Angelo Russell had a game high 21 points in the losing effort for the Lakers, while Tarik Black added 16 points and 10 rebounds.
Dwight Buycks saw just four minutes of action for Los Angeles. He missed both of his shots, grabbed two rebounds and dished an assist.
Washington 97, Denver 89 - The Nuggets came into the tournament section of the Vegas Summer League with a 3-0 record, but they suffered losses in both their games after that point, including this eight point defeat at the hands of the Wizards. Washington actually trailed 69-63 at the start of the fourth quarter, but they scored the first six points of the period to knot it up and turn on the heat for the remainder of the contest.
Kelly Oubre was all over the court for the Wizards, scoring a game high 30 points, while Shawn Jones contributed a double-double of 14 points and 13 rebounds to the winning effort. Oleksiy Pecherov came off the bench to lead the Nuggets with 21 points.
Jamil Wilson played 14 minutes for the Wizards, but didn't do well in the box score. He was 2-8 from the floor, including misses on all five of his three point attempts. He finished with four points and two rebounds.
Saturday, July 18
Phoenix 91, Chicago 84 - The Suns trailed by as many as 15 points in this one, but came storming back in the second half to squeeze past the Bulls to the Vegas semifinals. The big move by the Suns was a 16-4 run that bridged the third and fourth quarters that left them with a six point lead with 8:44 left to play. The Bulls would pull it to within three on a pair of Bobby Portis free throws with 47.9 seconds left, but they wouldn't score again.
T.J. Warren was a terror for the Suns, scoring a game high 31 points on 13-23 shooting. Phoenix also got 20 points from Archie Goodwin. Portis led Chicago with 25 points and 15 rebounds, while Darrell Williams came off the bench to tally nine points and 13 rebounds.
Vander Blue started and played 27 minutes for the Bulls. He scored seven points on 3-9 shooting, including this early alley-oop from Diante Garrett. Blue also had three rebounds, two assists, a steal. We probably shouldn't talk about the five fouls, though. Jerel McNeal played eight minutes for the Suns and missed all four of his shots.
Sunday, July 19
Phoenix 93, New Orleans 87 - The Suns advanced to Monday night's championship game against San Antonio powered by an outstanding 31 point, nine rebound effort from Devin Booker.
It looked like the Pelicans were on the verge of cracking this one open when they closed the 1st quarter on a 10-2 run over the final four minutes of the frame, but Booker scored the first seven points of the second period for the Suns to get them back into the contest. After trailing by 11 after one, Phoenix took a three point margin into the half.
New Orleans led by 1 at the start of the fourth, but they couldn't close the game down. A three pointer by Lazeric Jones with 2:16 was the last points that they would score, and Phoenix only needed one basket and a free throw in the final 90 seconds to come away with the win.
Jerel McNeal played 20 minutes for the Suns, and was much better than the previous night. He scored four points on 2-3 shooting and added a rebound and an assist.
8pm Central: Phoenix vs San Antonio (NBA TV)