We've got a Summer League game-winner! One of the Morris brothers, we won't tell you which -- okay, it's Marcus -- drilled a buzzer-beater to give the Suns their second win in as many tries in Las Vegas. Meanwhile, Austin Rivers made a big play for the Pelicans late, and Cody Zeller looked fine in his third outing in a Bobcats summer uniform.
Let's take a look at the early games from Day 3 at the Las Vegas Summer League, where who wins kind of matters this year, but we'd rather just talk about who played well. Here's a roundup of the first four games Monday:
Suns 91, Timberwolves 89
Marcus Morris -- wait, let me check -- yes, Marcus Morris, the Morris twin who is one inch shorter, was selected one pick later and spent a year and a half on the Rockets before being traded to join his brother Markieff on the Suns, was given the ball with the game tied at 89. A few dribbles to the right, an off-balance fader over Minnesota's Solomon Jones, and Phoenix got the Summer League game-winner:
The Suns had trailed by as much as 24, but after falling into a big deficit, this game was all Morrises. Markieff led all scorers with 22 points and nabbed six boards, while Marcus had 18 points and four rebounds. Alright, look: I'm quite an avid NBA fan, and quite an avid college basketball fan. And yet, I'll be damned if you ask me to describe in any great detail the difference between the two. But I can confirm the game-winner guy was Marcus, and the leading scorer was Markieff. Perhaps Marcus is the clutch brother.
Robbie Hummel, the Purdue product who played in Spain last year, led Minnesota with 18 points on just eight shots, while Shabazz Muhammad was once again lackluster, with eight points on nine shots, missing four of five free throw attempts, and no assists. Archie Goodwin and Gorgui Dieng did not look like first-round picks. For Minnesota, Dieng missed both of his shot attempts, turned the ball over five times, committed four personal fouls and recorded just one rebound and no blocks, despite a reputation as a defensive specialist. And for Phoenix, Goodwin had just two points and five turnovers.
Bobcats 84, Knicks 71
Those Bobcats fans who booed Cody Zeller were given a strong piece of evidence why that was maybe a bit premature, as the fourth overall pick looked phenomenal, albeit in Summer League. After scoring 23 in his second Summer League game, he posted 18 points and 10 rebounds, showing quick, decisive post moves and decent athleticism for a seven-footer. Yes, it's Summer League, and he was guarded by former Tulsa center Jerome Jordan and former Kentucky center Eloy Vargas, most recently employed in the Philippines and Dominican Republic, respectively. But still, he and Bismack Biyombo looked like a functional frontcourt. Jeffrey Taylor led all scorers with 20, while the star for the Knicks with Iman Shumpert and Tim Hardaway Jr. out was C.J. Leslie. The undrafted free agent had 18 points and looks like a nice find.
Pelicans 66, Cavs 62
We were at DEFCON: Summer League here, with 21 assists, 27 turnovers and poor shooting from all involved, but the Pelicans iced it with a sweet finish by Austin Rivers followed by a step-back jumper by Brian Roberts on the ensuing possession. The leading scorer was Dion Waiters, but he needed 16 shots to score his 16 points. There were a few second-round draft picks involved: the 33rd overall pick, Arizona State's Carrick Felix, was off with just four points on eight shots for the Cavs, while Kansas' Jeff Withey looked alright defensively, with three blocks in just 15 minutes, including two on one possession. It was a good day for brothers, as Tyler Zeller had 15 points and 12 boards.
Crosstown rivalry! The game was just a two-point Lakers lead at the half, but they quickly put it out of reach. Not a lot of star power here -- Marcus Landry, the Wisconsin product on the Lakers roster who is the younger brother of Carl, led all scorers with 16 points, but Lester Hudson might have been the real star: The only player to record a quadruple-double in NCAA Division I history who has played a total of 52 games since being drafted 58th overall in 2009, Hudson drilled three threes and grabbed nine boards to go along with his 13 points. Clippers first-round pick Reggie Bullock played his first subpar game in Vegas, scoring just 12 points on 16 shots after entering averaging 18 points per game.