LAS VEGAS – Some players took important steps in a comeback from injury, some made first steps into the NBA as rookies and others tried to show they belong in the league as the summer league began Thursday at Cox Pavilion.
Non-rookie of the day: New Orleans’ Austin Rivers, playing for the first time since breaking his right hand March 6, made 8-of-15 shots from the field and had 24 points, seven rebounds and six assists against two turnovers in the 77-72 win over the Knicks. The second-year guard had a nice response to the Pelicans adding Jrue Holiday to the backcourt and Tyreke Evans to the wing spots.
Other notables: Jeremy Tyler, Knicks. Trying to play his way back into the league, the former Warriors big man had 11 rebounds, including five on offense, in 23 minutes. He added 10 points. Also, Atlanta’s John Jenkins scored 24 points and had six rebounds from the backcourt in the 90-83 loss to the Clippers. Jeffery Taylor scored 24 and Bismack Biyombo had 11 rebounds in the Bobcats’ 69-68 loss to the Spurs.
Rookie of the day: Reggie Bullock, Clippers. There may not be a lot of shots once the season starts so making a positive impression in summer league and training camp will be important for the first-round pick. Against the Hawks, Bullock made 8-of-15 from the field and also had three blocks in a reminder that he is also a good defender.
Other notables: Deshaun Thomas, Spurs. The versatile scorer, a second-round selection, had 18. Carrick Felix, the Cleveland rookie that is here, with Anthony Bennett injured and Sergey Karasev with the Russian national team, contributed 14 points, six rebounds and two blocks to the 70-62 victory over the Lakers.
Coming up: After a limited schedule of four games in one gym, the schedule expands Saturday to seven contests in both sites, Thomas & Mack Center and adjacent Cox Pavilion. No. 3 pick Otto Porter will debut for the Wizards against the Warriors while No. 7 selection Ben McLemore of the Kings will play for the first time as Sacramento faces the Mavericks.