By Drew Packham, NBA.com
Vegas, Baby: Fans in Las Vegas apparently missed their Summer League action.
Saturday’s action at Cox Pavilion sold out midway through the day, with officials cutting off ticket sales for the day.
“This is the strongest start we’ve ever had,” said Gail Hunter, the NBA’s Sr. Vice President of Events. “Usually it builds, but we started really well.”
Hunter says the lack of a Summer League last year (due to the lockout) could be a reason for the increased excitement.
“There’s nothing like the intimate feel,” Hunter said. “The fact fans can see players in the stands and get so close to the game is so unique.”
Fans shouldn’t have a problem Sunday, with seven games throughout the day going simultaneously in both Thomas & Mack and Cox Pavilion. The arenas are connected and fans can alternate freely between the two venues.
Non-rookie of the day: Golden State’s Charles Jenkins was impressive, racking up 24 points on 9-for-12 shooting and had three steals in the Warriors’ 95-74 win over the Nuggets. “I love Charles’ game,” said teammate Klay Thompson, who had 17 points himself. “He’s one of the best mid-range shooters I’ve seen, and that’s no fabrication. He’s automatic and he’s developing into a great point guard. He’s gonna be a great player in this league for a long time.”
Rookie of the Day: Kings guard Josh Akognon looked to have this wrapped up, but Jeremy Lamb closed out the night with a bang. Akognon came alive in the second half to score 25 points on 10-for-16 shooting (4-for-8 on 3s). Lamb, though, was just as hot, scoring 26 points on 8-for-15 shooting (3-for-8 on 3s). OK, we’ll call it a draw.
Coming up: Sunday features seven games, beginning at 4 p.m. ET. Seven teams see their first action of Summer League, including the Suns, Mavs, Heat, Spurs, Cavs, Hornets, Blazers and the D-League Select team. The Hornets-Blazers game at 10:30 p.m. ET will feature the debuts of Austin Rivers for New Orleans (Anthony Davis, called up to Team USA, will not play) and Portland’s two lottery picks (Damian Lillard, 6th, and Meyers Leonard, 11th). The Cavs will get the first look at No. 4 overall pick Dion Waiters at 8:30 ET, but will be without Kyrie Irving, who fractured his hand in practice Saturday) against the Bobcats.