Thursday, July 16, 2009 | 10:18 p.m.
Dallas wasn’t finished after it dropped to 0-4 in the NBA Summer League, as owner Mark Cuban watched from his courtside seat, with a 75-62 defeat to Cleveland at the Cox Pavilion.
During the game, Cuban left to get some snacks. Five seconds after buying a soda and a tub of popcorn, a fan accidentally turned into him and spilled a few handfuls of the corn.
”I spilled Mark Cuban’s popcorn!” the stunned fan said, a second later, to his buddy.
Cleveland spoiled the rest of Cuban’s evening by beating the Mavericks, 28-13, in the fourth quarter.
Cavs guard Tarence Kinsey led everyone with 20 points, and Jawad Williams added 18 points and 9 rebounds off the bench. David Harrison had 10 points and 10 boards for the victors.
Dallas players weren’t finished sweating, though. Minutes after the game, Mavericks coaches had their players run several suicide drills.
That’s baseline to free-throw line and back, baseline to half-court and back, and baseline-to-baseline and back.
”That’s cold-blooded, man,” said one onlooker. “Old school,” said another.
Morrow goes for summer-record 47 points
Golden State guard Anthony Morrow set an NBA Summer League record with 47 points on Thursday night in a 104-84 victory over New Orleans.
The Cox Pavilion crowd got louder in anticipation of Morrow busting the record of 42 points, and he was given a rousing ovation when he was yanked from the game with 37.1 seconds remaining.
The second-year product of Georgia Tech shot 18-for-26 from the field, including 7-for-9 from 3-point range. He also had seven rebounds.
Spurs stay undefeated
San Antonio was one of the four undefeated Summer League teams by the end of Thursday’s action, after an 85-76 victory over Oklahoma City at the Thomas & Mack Center.
Second-year guard George Hill paced the Spurs (3-0) with 20 points, 9 assists and 5 rebounds. DeJuan Blair, a rookie forward out of Pittsburgh, chipped in with 20 points.
Houston (5-0), Memphis (3-0) and the D-League Select team (2-0) were the only other unbeatens after seven days of summer ball.
Griffin produces, but Clips lose
Los Angeles Clippers rookie forward Blake Griffin had 18 points and 15 rebounds in the Mack, but the Memphis Grizzlies secured the 85-68 victory.
Hasheem Thabeet, the former Connecticut star for Memphis, had only seven points and three boards in nearly 30 minutes of action.
The 7-foot-3 center had plenty of help, though, as Marcus Williams poured in 22 points, DeMarre Carroll had 16 and Sam Young scored 11. Williams went 16-for-20 at the free-throw line.
Budinger leads Houston to perfect mark
It's official: We have at least one team who will have made it through this year's NBA summer league unscathed.
With a 92-77 victory over the Lakers, the Houston Rockets finished their stint in Vegas a perfect 5-0.
And they were led by an unusual suspect: Second-round pick Chase Budinger.
The former Arizona standout said he used sliding from an expected first round draft slot last month into unguaranteed territory in the second round as motivation.
"I had expectations to go in the first round," he said. "I'm just trying to prove to all these teams that they messed up."
He pretty much did just that.
After scoring 25 points on 7-of-9 shooting against the Lakers -- including going 3-of-3 from deep -- Budinger finished the five-game stretch averaging 17.8 points per game. What's more impressive is that he shot 68.1 percent from the floor and a nearly-unbelievable 72.7 percent from 3-point range.
"Never," he responded when asked if he ever thought he'd come to Vegas and shoot nearly 70 percent from the floor. "I just tried taking good shots all week. All week, my shot felt great. I was very confident in myself and I think that probably led to a good field goal percentage."
Budinger certainly had some help, as Joey Dorsey was a double-double machine during the week, finishing with 11 points and 20 rebounds in the finale.
The 5 p.m. game is underway between Golden State and New Orleans, and we already have a developing story line. Warriors guard Anthony Morrow has 17 points through just one quarter of play.
Raptors guard Quincy Douby sinks Bucks
Quincy Douby smashed Milwaukee rookie point guard Brandon Jennings's hopes of an undefeated NBA Summer League season with a jump shot from the right side with 1.3 seconds remaining Thursday afternoon.
That gave Toronto an 84-83 lead, and that held up as the final score inside Cox Pavilion when an ill-fated inbounds lob to Joe Alexander fell short for the Bucks, who finished 4-1. The Raptors finished 3-2.
"THAT shot," Jennings said, of Douby, as he wheeled his luggage into an elevator to get to McCarran International Airport three hours early for a flight. "And if we had hit our free throws."
The Bucks only hit 10 of 21 foul shots.
Milwaukee had eked out to a 69-66 lead early in the fourth quarter, but its defense fell apart in allowing Toronto 11 consecutive points.
Jodie Meeks sank back-to-back jumpers for Milwaukee, and Alexander tied it, at 77-77, with a jumper from the right side. Then he hit another for a two-point edge.
With 15.1 ticks left, Meeks, the former Kentucky guard, gave the Bucks an 83-82 advantage. Smush Parker took the ensuing inbounds pass at halfcourt after a timeout, whittled the clock to seven seconds and passed to Douby, who hit the game winner.
Meeks led everyone with 29 points, hitting 12-of-23 from the field. Jennings, who so badly wanted to go 5-0 in his NBA debut, even if it was the Summer League, finished with 13 points, 7 assists and 8 turnovers. DeMar DeRozan led Toronto with 20 points, and Douby had 17 off the bench.
Bad food at Morrison hotel?
Stomach flu has kept former Gonzaga star Adam Morrison from the Los Angeles Lakers' final Summer League game. There were no further details about his absence as Morrison didn't even attend the Thursday afternoon contest against Houston.
A nearly packed Cox Pavilion probably expected to see Morrison hit a few 3-pointers and fade-away baseline jumpers.
Morrison had been playing well, averaging more than 20 points a game as he tried to move flawlessly within the team's triangle offense. Until his fourth game, he had been shooting well, too.
Behind 10 points from David Monds, a 25-year-old rookie out of Oklahoma State, the Lakers lead the Rockets, 22-17, after one quarter.
Ibekwe doing well after nasty fall
After a hard fall Wednesday night, Toronto forward Ekene Ibekwe is doing fine after tests on his neck showed no permanent damage at University Medical Center.
Ibekwe had his legs cut out from underneath him in a game against Phoenix at the Cox Pavilion. He landed hard on his face, with little support from his hands.
Play was stopped for 10 to 15 minutes as medical personnel tended to Ibekwe, who was wheeled off the court on a stretcher and taken to a hospital.
Toronto coach Jay Triano said Ibekwe has two chipped teeth in the back left of his mouth and stitches on his chin, and both wrists are in splints.
”I told him, ‘How are you gonna shoot today?’ ” said Triano, laughing. He did not have a good view of the mishap, since he was sitting at the other end of the court.
Ibekwe, who turns 24 on Sunday, was not with the Raptors this afternoon as the prepared to play Milwaukee.
Triano said Ibekwe will play with the Nigerian national team this summer and it appears that will proceed as scheduled. The Raptors play the Bucks here at Cox today at 1 p.m.
Jennings turnovers costing Milwaukee
Rookie point guard Brandon Jennings's string of turnovers might sting his chances of guiding the Bucks to an undefeated record this summer.
When his pass in the lane was easily intercepted, Toronto raced down and converted an easy bucket to tie it, 28-28. When his half-court lob was easily picked off, the Raptors turned it into a 40-35 lead.
Toronto took controls with an array of dunks and lead, 44-40, at halftime. Jennings leads everyone with 13 points, while DeMar DeRozan has 9 for Toronto, Shawn Taggart has 8, and Patrick O'Bryant, Smush Parker, Quincy Douby and Paul Davis have 6 points apiece.
Toronto is out-shooting Milwaukee, 55 percent to 47. The Bucks have three assists and eight turnovers.
Bucks looking to go 5-0 this summer
Today could be the best day of the summer for new Milwaukee Bucks point guard Brandon Jennings.
The 6-foot-1, 160-pound whippet floor general from Los Angeles, who toiled on the bench last season in Italy, could cap a 5-0 NBA Summer League for the Bucks.
That was his main motivation before he even arrived in Las Vegas, and he guided the Bucks to victories in their first four games.
No wonder Milwaukee general manager John Hammond and the rest of the Bucks’ brass are so endeared with Jennings.
They cherished his jets before the draft, but they discovered he has a Maserati-like motor and Brando-like passion here on the UNLV campus.
Milwaukee starts today’s action at 1 p.m. against Toronto inside the Cox Pavilion, and we will update you with the health status of Raptors forward Ekene Ibekwe as soon as we know how he’s doing.
The former Maryland star fell, in a nasty spill on his noggin, late Wednesday. A board was carefully placed under him, his head and torso were immobilized and he was wheeled off the court on a stretcher to a nearby hospital.
In the 3 p.m. game here at Cox, we’ll continue to monitor the progress of Lakers shooter Adam Morrison, who has been looking very comfortable in picking up the nuances of coach Phil Jackson’s triangle offense. L.A. plays Houston, the only other 4-0 team in the league.
At 5 p.m., Stephen Curry no doubt will continue to treat his legion of followers when the Warriors battled the New Orleans Hornets.
In addition, Golden State has featured the powerful Anthony Randolph, whose lefty finishes have become a highlight of the Summer League.
Here at 7, we’ll see how super point man Rodrigue Beaubois is faring when Dallas plays Cleveland. Beaubois had a nasty spill on a knee the other day, but we’re told it looked worse than it is.
Finally, at 7:30 in the main gym at the Mack, the Clippers and new power forward Blake Griffin likely will continue to attract large crowds when they play Memphis.
The Clippers’ faithful can only hope, or dream, that the squad has this much interest in it in 10 months.
Circle Friday night at 7 on your calendar, too. The D-League Select squad is 2-0 and will play Phoenix at the Mack.
The honor roll, to this point, includes Anthony Randolph, the Golden State Warriors' forward from LSU who leads the Summer League with 26.8 points a game. Washington's Nick Young (26.5) and Andray Blatche (24) are next, followed by Eric Gordon and Blake Griffin, both of who are averaging 21.5 points for the Clippers.
Joey Dorsey of Houston is the leading rebounder, at 13.5 a game, and Marcus Williams of Memphis is on top in assists with 11 a game. Blatche is second with a 12.5 average on the boards., and Griffin is fourth in rebounds at 10.5.
Who is Blatche? Out of high school in 2005, he was picked by the Wizards in the second round of the draft. He has been in trouble with the law in Washington, D.C., and Alexandria, Va., and he changed his uniform number to 7 this summer.
"Seven days of hard work," he told the Washington Post, "seven days of being focused. I'm all about business. I've got a big opportunity and I'm gonna take advantage of it."
The 2009-10 season will his third in a five-year deal worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $15 million.
Nicknamed "Bulletproof," he was shot in the chest in a car-jacking incident near his Alexandria home in September 2005. Fortunately, his mother said, he was not hit in any vital organs and he was walking under his own power three days later.
UNLV fans might remember Javaris Crittenton, who played for Georgia Tech when the Rebels ousted the Jackets from the first round of the NCAA tournament in Chicago two years ago. Crittenton, now with Washington, is fifth in the Summer League with 8 assists a game.
A tip of my FC Barcelona futebol cap, by the way, to Dwayne Jones of Detroit. The fourth-year center out of St. Joseph's is one of scant players shooting around here at the Cox more than an hour before the first game.
Even more impressive, the Pistons don't play today. You want to root for a guy like that.