The Las Vegas Summer League tournament kicked off on Wednesday with a few games on the bill and continued Thursday. The first game of the day pitted the San Antonio Spurs versus the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Dion Waiters poured in 27 points on 12-for-23 shooting to lead the Cleveland Cavaliers past the San Antonio Spurs by a score of 72-66 in the opening game on Thursday of NBA Summer League at UNLV.
The Cavaliers were led by Waiters. The fourth overall selection in the 2012 NBA Draft had an impactful year for Cleveland and averaged 14.7 points on 41% shooting during the 2012-13 season. In addition to his 27 points he tallied six rebounds and one assist.
San Antonio was able to overcome an early 6-0 deficit. Nando De Colo provided an early scoring punch but Marcus Denmon was the go-to-guy for the Spurs. Denmon came off the bench and recorded 19 points, four assists and two rebounds. He connected on 5-of-10 attempts from beyond the arc and helped put San Antonio in command for most of the first-half.
Spurs second round pick DeShaun Thomas had his worst game of the summer league as he went 1-of-12 from the floor scoring just 5 points in over 30 minutes of play.
Denmon kept the Spurs in it as he added two more 3-pointers to his tally. His second one sparked an 11-2 run which brought the game to a 65-65 tie after Hollis Thompson connected on a three-pointer with 3:31 remaining.
The Spurs did have a chance to tie the game up and send it into overtime. With the score 69-66, Cleveland, Thompson was fouled and headed to the line for two free throws, with 29.8 seconds left. He made his first and went on to miss his second, however he was able to grab his own rebound and possibly giving the Spurs a chance to tie. Spurs would then call a timeout.
Out of the timeout, San Antonio drew up a play and went to Denmon whom has been holding their scoring load all game, instead of going for the tie, he went for the win taking a deep three, which would fall short.
The win for Cleveland clinches them a spot in Saturday’s quarterfinals as they will matchup against the winner of the Miami Heat and Chicago Bulls game. San Antonio will wrap up their summer league action in the consolation bracket tomorrow at 5 P.M. in Cox Pavillion.