Las Vegas Summer League: Spurs Lose, But Thomas Continues to Impress


Jul 14, 2013: Deshaun Thomas continues to impress at the Las Vegas Summer LeagueThe San Antonio Spurs took the floor late Sunday night against the Toronto Raptors in their second game of the Las Vegas Summer League. The Raptors came away with a hard fought 82-76 win over the Spurs.

It was a tight game until the beginning of the 4th quarter. Toronto was up by 4 to start the 4th and slowly built a 12-point lead over the first 6 minutes. However, San Antonio made it interesting with a 12-2 run during the final 3 minutes. The Spurs got within 2 points with 17.2 seconds remaining, but the Spurs missed their last three shots and the Raptors made their free throws down the stretch to secure the 6-point win.

It was a sloppy game for both squads with 38 turnovers between the two teams. The Raptors just looked a little more athletic throughout the entire game. Terrence Ross paced the Raptors with 14 points while 6’11” Jonas Valanciunas added 19 points and 13 rebounds. Valanciunas was 11-12 from the line as Aaron Baynes and Dexter Pittman had trouble with the Raptor big man all night. Baynes was clearly frustrated with trying to guard Valanciunas and picked up a technical late in the 4th quarter when the two got tangled up and Baynes demonstratively pulled away and yelled for a foul. Chris Wright added 13 points for the Raptors on 6-of-8 shooting from the field and highlighted his night with a breakaway steal and an uncontested dunk.

Corey Joseph had a strong first half with 11 points on 4-of-6 shooting, but only managed two more baskets in the 2nd half to finish the game with 16 points, 6 assists, and 6 rebounds. He played a game-high 35 minutes which showed the Spurs organization is investing quality time in Joseph to hone his skills and once again spend valuable minutes backing up Tony Parker during the regular season.

Deshaun Thomas continues make people wonder why he slid to the 2nd round of the 2013 NBA draft and fell into the lap of the San Antonio Spurs with the 58th pick. He finished Sunday night with 16 points and 8 boards. He made a savvy play at the end of the first half with time winding down… he slyly got Quincy Acy off the ground with a pump fake, drew the foul, and made both free throws with .4 seconds left. During the 3rd quarter, he made a nice baseline cut and Joseph found him for a dunk and he also made a great hustle play on an offensive rebound and reverse layup put back. He hit a clutch 3-pointer during the Spurs late run to round out his night.

Once again Nando De Colo did not look very comfortable at the off-guard position at all. I was hoping he would assert himself a little more tonight after his ho-hum 12-point effort on Friday, but he just always seemed to be involved in an errant pass or unforced turnover all night. He finished with 7 points, 1 assist, and 4 turnovers, and missed two open 3-pointers during crunch time. His not-so-top-10 highlight was on a fast break where Joseph skipped a pretty pass to De Colo for an uncontested layup, but he fumbled the ball out of bounds.

Marcus Denmon and Hollis Thompson were very active when on the floor and played very aggressive. Denmon had 9 points and Thompson had 7 points on the night. They both had a hand in the Spurs late 12-2 run to get back in the game. Denmon hit a clutch 3-pointer to bring the Spurs within 5 points. Thompson made a brilliant steal on a quick inbound pass by Toronto, scored and was fouled, and made the free throw to put the Spurs down by 2 with 17.2 seconds remaining.

The Spurs next game is Monday night against the Atlanta Hawks. Tip-off is scheduled for 9pm central time.