LAS VEGAS -- One shot with 0.5 seconds to go.
After a closely contested second half, D’Angelo Russell dealt the Sixers a loss in their first Samsung NBA Summer League game with a 27-foot three to ice the Lakers' 70-69 comeback victory.
The Sixers had looked to be in the clear when T.J. McConnell scored a running layup with 1.8 seconds to go. But Russell had other ideas and drained a trey as time expired in front of a packed arena at the Thomas & Mack Center.
What had been a highly anticipated matchup between this year’s top two picks in Ben Simmons and Brandon Ingram, turned into a heated battle with both teams getting contributions from players other than Simmons or Ingram. Check out the high numbers below to see how both teams fueled this contest.
Simmons filled up the stat sheet. He posted eight points, 10 rebounds and eight assists in 30 minutes. He also committed seven turnovers. It was the near-hero McConnell who led the way with 12 points for the Sixers. Jerami Grant, Richaun Holmes and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot all finished with 10 points.
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After a slow start, Russell heated up in the second half finishing with a game-high 22 points.
The Sixers squandered an early 16-point lead which allowed the Lakers to fight until the finish for the win.
Jerami Grant joined the Sixers on Saturday. It didn’t take long for him to snap into game mode with a colossal dunk over 7-foot-1, 240-pound Ivica Zubac in the third quarter.
Battle of the roommates
Simmons and Russell go back much further than their recent Foot Locker commercial. They were high school roommates at Montverde Academy in Florida. Simmons said Russell, one year his senior, gave him advice during the draft process and while he prepared for the NBA.
Robert Covington and Isaiah Canaan came to the game on Saturday. Covington is under contract for next season. The Sixers did not extend a qualifying offer on Canaan.
The Sixers will be back in action on Sunday evening to take on the Bulls at 5:30 local time.