The Samsung NBA Summer League in Las Vegas was left with only four teams and three matches after Saturday. The Semifinals were to take place on Saturday following which the Finals would take place on Monday evening.
Here’s how the two semifinals matches transpired:
(23) Charlotte Hornets vs (14) Houston Rockets – (Houston won 83-79)
After qualifying for the championship bracket having lost all of their three group games, the Hornets put together three spectacular games to upset higher seeded teams. However, their dream run came to an end against the Houston Rockets in the Final Four. The Rockets edged out the Hornets in an intense and nervy battle which consisted of 13 lead changes and 10 ties.
For the second game in a row, Houston was led by the duo of point guard Isaiah Canaan and center Donatas Motiejunas. The duo added a combined 42 points (Canaan with 24) and 14 rebounds (Motiejunas with 13). Nick Johnson also contributed with an effective 12 points. On the other hand, the Hornets were led once again by point guard P.J. Hairston who had 27 points followed by a double-double in vain by Josh Davis of 18 points and 14 rebounds.
The game caps off an inspiring tournament of basketball for the Hornets who had nothing to show during the group games but came together during the championship rounds and reached the semifinals after causing three consecutive upsets. On the other hand for the Rockets they move on to the championship game to take on the Sacramento Kings.
(8) Sacramento Kings vs (4) Washington Wizards -(Sacramento won 74-62)
Glen Rice Jr. of the Wizards was named the Summer League MVP and heads the All-NBA NBA Summer League team. While Rice Jr. received his personal achievement for the summer, he could not lead Washington to the Final of the tournament with his 24 points and 9 rebounds. Otto Porter chipped in with 16 points which meant the remaining 10 players on the Wizards squad that took the court contributed for 22 points.
On the other hand, Sacramento put up a great team effort despite their Sophomore guard Ben McLemore not able to get past his struggles. Although McLemore notched up just 6 points, the bench for the Kings were in hot form with Marshon Brooks and Jared Cunningham combining for 24 points, while backup forward Eric Moreland had 6 points and 14 rebounds.
While the Wizards lost their first game of the tournament after winning five consecutive games prior to this, the Kings registered their fifth consecutive win after losing their group game. For Indian fans their support would definitely be with the Kings given that center of Indian descent Sim Bhullar is in Sacramento’s summer league squad. However, the giant was not given any playing time in the semifinal just a day after he scored his first points in the quarterfinal against the Chicago Bulls.
Here are top 5 plays from Saturday:Published 21 Jul 2014, 12:32 IST