Troy Brown Jr. posts double-double in Las Vegas Summer League play
LAS VEGAS — The opening weekend of Summer League concluded with more impressive performances by Pac-12 alums. Here’s a rundown of some of the more impressive Pac-12 Sunday showings:
Troy Brown Jr. posts double-double in Wizards’ loss to Spurs
One day after Deandre Ayton posted 21 points and 12 rebounds for the Phoenix Suns, No. 15 overall pick Troy Brown Jr. did the same for the Washington Wizards in a 95-90 loss to the San Antonio Spurs Sunday at the Thomas & Mack Center.
And much like Ayton from Saturday, Brown overcame a slow start to reach those monstrous numbers for a 40-minute Summer League game. Brown missed six straight shots to end the first half but went 7-of-10 from the floor over the final 20 minutes to help the Wiz nearly erase a 20-point deficit, cutting it down all the way to 91-90 after a Brown baby hook in the lane following some nice off-ball movement before the Spurs pulled it out in the end.
“We just got out there and started playing basketball, and that’s when things got a little bit easier for me,” Brown told the Washington Post after the near-comeback. “Just playing the right way and just doing the little things. For me it was just about finding my role, picking up where I can.”
Brown also had two assists and three steals in the outing. The Las Vegas native is certainly having a nice Summer League in front of the hometown crowd.
De’Anthony Melton plays key role in Rockets’ 4th-quarter comeback against Golden State
For three quarters, the Houston Rockets’ Summer League squad looked pretty pedestrian, trailing the red-hot-in-July (well, really year-round) Golden State Warriors 67-52 heading into the fourth quarter. However, the Rockets turned on the after-boosters and ripped off 35 points in the final frame to take down the Dubs 87-81.
Right in the middle of all the Houston fun was 2018 second-round draft choice De’Anthony Melton, who had a quarter-high 12 points on 4-of-4 shooting to help lead the charge alongside veteran R.J. Hunter. The No. 46 pick had an and-1 to really start making Golden State feel it in the fourth and then drilled a 3-pointer to cap a 17-1 run, giving the Rockets a five-point lead with four minutes to play.
“He did a good job attacking, attacking the basket, made some big shots there in the fourth,” Rockets Summer League co-head coach Brett Gunning told the Houston Chronicle about Melton, who finished with 17 points, five rebounds and four steals. “And his defense has been there the whole time.”
Pac-12 Non-Rookie Shout-Out To…
Former Arizona Wildcat Kobi Simmons, who had 15 points for the Memphis Grizzlies in what was an otherwise-forgettable 86-56 loss to the Orlando Magic outside of a DJ Stephens supreme denial of a Jonathan Isaac dunk attempt that is so good we have to mention here even though they aren’t Pac-12 guys and even though there isn’t an easily-findable highlight online (I trusted you, Twitter…).
But back to Simmons, who spent the past season playing on a two-way contract with the Memphis Grizzlies and their G League affiliate, the Memphis Hustle (who actually play in Mississippi). Some people might have questioned his decision to turn pro after just one year, especially after he went undrafted, but Simmons has proved his worth at the next level, even scoring 17 points against Golden State in December and putting up 20 against Detroit near the end of the regular season.
On Sunday in the Summer League laugher, Simmons was arguably the quickest guy on the court, consistently beating guys off the dribble to get to the foul line (he finished with nine free-throw attempts, hitting seven). I’m no scout, but he has NBA-level game and athleticism to stick, especially if he can hit the three like he did at the G League level (36 percent) instead of the NBA level (28 percent; it’s the same line. He did go 3-of-4 from 3-point land in that aforementioned performance against Golden State and 4-of-7 from distance against Detroit).