Summer League in Las Vegas opens with Lonzo Ball struggling
LAS VEGAS (AP) It took Lonzo Ball 20 seconds to get a near-capacity crowd off its feet in his first summer league game.
There wasn't much to cheer the rest of the game.
Ball's highly anticipated Los Angeles Lakers debut on Friday night started with a flourish on a perfectly timed lob pass to Brandon Ingram. But that was one of the few bright spots for a player Magic Johnson has dubbed as the new face of the Lakers in a 96-93 overtime loss to the Los Angeles Clippers.
The No. 2 overall pick scored just five points and missed 13 of his 15 shots, to the disappointment of a near-capacity crowd that came out to see him. Ball was 1 for 11 from 3-point range, including a bad miss from well beyond the line - the kind of daring pull-up the Ball family is known for - with 1:16 to play in regulation.
Fellow top-five picks Josh Jackson and De'Aaron Fox had much better starts to their careers in the nightcap of the six-game slate on the campus of UNLV. The 24-team league runs through July 17.
A look at the results:
CLIPPERS 96, LAKERS 93, OT
Sindarius Thornwell, who led South Carolina to the Final Four, paced the Clippers with 26 points. Brice Johnson, limited to just three games as a rookie because of a back injury, shot 10 for 15 for 23 points.
Brandon Ingram, the No. 2 pick a year ago, scored 26 points for the Lakers but sat out the overtime after landing awkwardly on a jumper that would have won it in regulation.
SUNS 89, KINGS 85
Marquese Chriss scored 19 points and Jackson, the No. 4 pick out of Kansas, finished with 18 points and eight rebounds. Dragan Bender, after a disappointing rookie season, shot 4 for 13 for 11 points.
The speedy Fox, the No. 5 pick from Kentucky, had 18 points, five steals and four assists. Fellow rookie Justin Jackson of North Carolina also scored 18 points, while All-Rookie selection Buddy Hield had 16.
RAPTORS 96, PELICANS 93
Fred VanVleet made a tiebreaking three-point play with 4.5 seconds left in the opening game. Pascal Siakam led Toronto with 24 points, VanVleet added 18 points and nine assists, and undrafted rookie Kennedy Meeks of national champion North Carolina had 15 points and nine boards in 17 minutes.
Cheick Diallo had 27 points and 10 rebounds for New Orleans and Quinn Cook scored 16 points.
CAVALIERS 82, BUCKS 53
Edy Tavares had 12 points and eight rebounds in Cleveland's easy victory. Kay Felder, a backup point guard last season, scored 10 points but missed all six 3-pointers and finished 2 for 11.
Rashad Vaughn scored 12 points for the Bucks, who shot 30 percent. Thon Maker, preparing for his second season, shot 1 for 8 in 25 minutes.
ROCKETS 102, NUGGETS 99
Troy Williams scored 29 points and China's Zhou Qi added 17 for Houston.
The Rockets and Nuggets were two of the highest-scoring teams in the NBA last season and they piled up the points in their summer opener. Houston shot 50 percent.
Malik Beasley led Denver with 29 points and Juan Hernangomez had 21.
NETS 75, HAWKS 72
Archie Goodwin and Isaiah Whitehead each scored 14 points and the Nets held on after blowing most of a 19-point lead in their opener.
Caris LeVert finished with 12 points, including a dunk with six seconds left after Atlanta had closed within one point.
DeAndre' Bembry led Atlanta with 22 points but missed a 3-pointer that would have tied it in the final second. Taurean Prince chipped in 14 points.