#24 Minnesota def. #1 Toronto, 81-79 (4:00 PM ET, ESPNU)
The first of four contests on a day where the intensity of the NBA Summer League was seriously ramped up, Minnesota found it's way past Toronto with help from a bit of a controversial call with under a second to go. The Timberwolves' Tyus Jones managed to get to the free-throw stripe for the game-clinching points after he stuck his leg out to the side while attempting a last-second shot and then tumbled to the floor upon "contact". The referees awarded Jones two free-throws that ultimately put the game away, knocking the Raptors and former New Mexico stand-out Alex Kirk, out of the Las Vegas NBA Summer League Playoffs. Kirk added 8 points on 3-6 shooting from the field in over 11 minutes of action for Toronto in the contest.
#5 Phoenix def. #4 Denver, 82-81 OT (6:00 PM ET, ESPN2)
The thought that any game could top the Minnesota-Toronto opener to the day was quickly washed away when Phoenix decided to have two late-game moments that not even Hollywood could've scripted. At the end of regulation of a back-and-forth game, Suns' forward Dragan Bender had a "Tyus Jones" moment, drawing a foul with 0.4 seconds left on the clock after selling a hard pump-fake and maneuvering his body into the oncoming defender. However, Bender's ending was a bit different from Jones'. Bender missed both free-throws in the crucial moment, sending the game to overtime, where a heartbroken Phoenix team had to quickly recover from it's deflating finish to regulation. Enter Tyler Ulis. Ulis came up with arguably the biggest shot of the day, when off an inbound with 1.8 seconds left, the former Kentucky guard put the Suns from down-two to up-one from way beyond the three-point line, pushing his team through to the next round of the playoffs. Phoenix will now square off with Minnesota tomorrow at 6 PM ET in the Las Vegas NBA Summer League semi-finals.
#2 Chicago def. #7 Washington, 88-85 (8:00 PM ET, ESPN2)
Former Virginia Tech guard Jarrell Eddie has been one of the consistent surprises of the Las Vegas NBA Summer League for the Wizards, as the 6' 7" guard has averaged 15.2 points, 4.8 rebounds and 2.0 assists per game through five contests. On Saturday in Sin City, even his 22 point outing wasn't enough to hold off a red-hot Bulls team, who now remains as one of the four teams left in the hunt for an NBA Summer League Championship. Bobby Portis and Denzel Valentine paced Chicago with a combined 31 points and 19 rebounds in what eventually turned out to be a tight three-point victory while the aforementioned Eddie and Kelly Oubre Jr. (17 points, 7 rebounds) led things for Washington. Oubre Jr. was a headache all night on the floor, drawing a game-high twelve trips to the charity stripe while also making heads-up defensive plays like the one in the clip below.
#14 Cleveland def. #6 Brooklyn, 91-83 OT (10:00 PM ET, ESPN2)
The nightcap of a very excitable four-game slate, Cleveland and Brooklyn gave the fans of Las Vegas a solid ending to an eventful day with the Cavaliers eventual eight-point win over a gutsy Nets team in overtime. While neither team shot remarkably well from the field, Cleveland still found a way to five scorers in double-digits, led by Jordan McRae, who had a game-high 25 points. The Nets' Sean Kilpatrick chipped in 25 points of his own in a losing effort for Brooklyn. Most of the games on Saturday's slate may not have featured a large Mountain West influence and Brooklyn's lone Mountain West alumni in San Diego State's J.J. O'Brien was out with a left foot injury for this one, as the Nets now end their strong NBA Summer League display on a sour note. Cleveland will now move on to face Chicago in Sunday's semi-finals, where they hope more plays like this from point guard Kay Felder will lead them to a potential finals appearance.
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The Las Vegas NBA Summer League continues on Sunday with the playoff semi-finals. The schedule is as listed below:
#5 Phoenix v. #24 Minnesota (6:00 PM ET)
#2 Chicago v. #14 Cleveland (8:00 PM ET)