Wed, Jul 11, 2018 - Page 16 News List

Ayton thriving on play at the NBA Summer League


The Phoenix Suns’ Deandre Ayton, right, drives against the Orlando Magic’s Jonathan Isaac, left, during their NBA Summer League game at the Thomas and Mack Center in Las Vegas on Monday.

Photo: AFP

Deandre Ayton is having no problem with the competition or the schedule at the NBA level.

Ayton outplayed a fellow top rookie big man for the second time, keeping the Phoenix Suns undefeated in preliminary play in Las Vegas.

Another full day of basketball on Monday, highlighted by Ayton against Orlando’s Mo Bamba in a matchup of unbeaten teams, was the third game in four days for the 20 teams in action at the NBA Summer League.

The games are shorter than a regular NBA game — 40 minutes instead of 48 — and there is no travel, but it is still a lot of action in a short amount of time.

Some teams even gave players a rest day during the stretch of games, knowing that there would be more ahead. Every team is guaranteed five games, with the possibility of playing as many as eight games in 12 days.

Ayton did not look like he needed a break after scoring 17 points and grabbing 13 rebounds in the Suns’ 71-53 victory over the Magic. The No. 1 pick said it was his first victory over Bamba, the No. 6 pick, after he beat fellow high-school teammate and No. 2 selection Marvin Bagley III on Saturday.

“With all the excitement and all the fans coming out here, it just really made me a lot more comfortable,” Ayton said in an interview on NBA TV. “I just want to put on a show for them to be honest and just win as many games as I play.”

There will not be any more for Bagley, as an MRI revealed a pelvic bone bruise, the Sacramento Kings said, adding that Bagley would rest for a week or two.

Monday was the last of the 10-game slates on the campus of UNLV. There were only five games yesterday before teams were seeded for tournament play that begins today.

In Monday’s other games, it was:

‧ Suns 71, Magic 53

‧ Cavaliers 93, Pacers 88

‧ Thunder 92, Raptors 82

‧ Pistons 105, Pelicans 97

‧ Wizards 87, 76ers 75

‧ Celtics 100, Hornets 80

‧ Mavericks 91, Warriors 71

‧ Nuggets 90, Bucks 83

‧ Rockets 104, Clippers 90

‧ Timberwolves 78, Nets 69

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