There were four NBA Summer League afternoon games on Thursday, with three of the four being decided by single digits. As coaching staffs continue evaluating their prospects, quite a few draft picks have begun signing their first professional contracts. Here's a recap of the four early games in Las Vegas.
Cavaliers 72, Spurs 66
Dion Waiters, who was selected with the fourth overall selection of last year's draft, went off for 27 points against the San Antonio Spurs as the Cavaliers picked up a narrow 72-66 win. He also brought down six rebounds. Tyler Zeller did not play as well, scoring just one point. Zeller has shown signs of improvement this summer, although he just did not look comfortable on Thursday afternoon.
San Antonio was a mess on the offensive end, shooting just 29 percent from the floor while turning the ball over 15 times. Marcus Denmon, one of the last players taken at the 2012 NBA Draft, led the way with 19 points off the bench while going 5-for-10 from behind the arc.
Lakers 72, Bucks 68
Marcus Landry scored a game-high 18 points and center Robert Sacre chipped in with 16 and eight rebounds as the Lakers narrowly edged the Milwaukee Bucks, 72-68. The Lakers did a nice job on the defensive end all game long, holding Milwaukee to just 37 percent shooting from the floor, including 8-of-28 from deep. Former top high school prospect Josh Selby continued to struggle in a limited role, scoring four points in just over 11 minutes of playing time.
John Henson, who was the final lottery selection of last summer's draft, led the Bucks with 16 points and 13 rebounds. He also blocked three shots, which is a good sign for the lanky forward. Second-round selection Nate Wolters continued to play well off the bench, scoring nine points, dishing out five assists and bringing down five rebounds.
Raptors 95, Nuggets 78
Toronto stormed out to an early lead in the first half and never looked back, cruising to a blowout victory over the Denver Nuggets. Six different Raptors reached double-digits in scoring on Thursday, led by former first round pick Terrence Ross and his 17 points. Dwight Buycks, who was signed earlier in the week by Toronto, scored a team-high 18 points and dished out 10 assists.
Not much went right for Denver on either end of the floor. Jordan Hamilton, who was a first round selection back in 2011, was the lone bright spot as he scored 25 points on 10-of-21 shooting. The Nuggets are now 1-4 in Summer League play.
First round pick Cody Zeller was impressive on Thursday, leading the Bobcats to a 92-84 victory over the Grizzlies. Zeller scored 18 points and brought down nine rebounds. Jerome Dyson led Charlotte with a team-high 21 points while going 7-for-7 from the field.
Undrafted guard Vander Blue went off for the Grizzlies, scoring a game-high 24 points in just 23 minutes off the bench. He went 9-of-17 from the field, including 5-of-8 from behind the arc. Blue has a long way to go before making the roster in Memphis, but his performance in Vegas on Thursday was certainly eye-opening.