SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Danny Ainge sat with a look of satisfaction Wednesday as he watched Boston play the San Antonio Spurs in summer league action. It’s been quite a week for the Celtics president of basketball operations.
The franchise came to an agreement with Gordon Hayward on a four-year, $128 million deal on Tuesday. Ainge also watched rookie Jayson Tatum, the No. 3 overall pick, shine in his first two professional games at the Utah Jazz Summer League.
Fans heckled Ainge throughout the game, but nothing seemed to bother him or coach Brad Stevens.
Tatum put on a show again, with 23 points, 10 rebounds, two assists and one steal in 31 minutes. The rookie showed a bit of everything on offense, including a tip-dunk that had the crowd gasping.
“He’s going to be a pretty good player in this league for a long time,” Celtics summer league coach Jerome Allen said. “As the games progress, I think I’m beyond feeling surprise by what he’s able to do on the floor, from a number of different spots on the floor. It’s good to see solid production out of him.”
The Spurs won 81-70, but Tatum’s performance was most important to Celtics fans. He hit the go-ahead jumper on Monday with 5.7 seconds remaining.
“I’m just trying to be well-rounded,” Tatum said. “There’s effort in diving to the floor and rebounding. It doesn’t take skill to do those things. I’m just giving that extra effort to help the team.”
Bryn Forbes paced the Spurs with a game-high 31 points, including a 6-for-8 effort from behind the arc. Dejounte Murray struggled with five points on 0-for-10 shooting.
A look at the day in summer league:
Jazz general manager Dennis Lindsey spoke with the media Wednesday for the first time since Hayward made his announcement. Lindsey said he hasn’t spoken with Hayward, but the two have texted back and forth. Lindsey said after the season the organization had contingency plans in case Hayward left. He said Wednesday that the timing of the decision is problematic for those plans. Most of the marquee free agents have made their decision by now and the Jazz are losing 21.9 points, 5.4 rebounds and 3.5 assists per game.
Jazz point guard Dante Exum is the only lottery pick from the 2014 and 2015 drafts playing in the Salt Lake City and Orlando sessions. Utah’s coaching staff expects the 2014 No. 5 overall pick to dominate, and he did so Wednesday.
Exum finished with 26 points, 10 assists and five rebounds. He shot 9 for 16 from the field, including three 3-pointers, in Utah’s 100-94 win over Philadelphia.
“Just getting to the paint and finding guys,” Exum said. “I’m trying to learn a lot about where guys like to get the ball. I think that’s part of my development, where I need to learn to put guys in good situations.
Exum said he’s as confident as he’s ever been as he’s put in extra work this summer. The Aussie has spent a couple weeks working with Baron Davis at the suggestion of coach Quin Snyder.
“It works two ways, the confidence,” Jazz summer league coach Alex Jensen said. “It works really well because (Exum) wants to play against the best players and do well. But then it also leads to that lackadaisical, especially when we get tired, it’s human nature, the coasting.”
UP AND DOWN
No. 1 overall pick Markelle Fultz has been streaky thus far in summer league. He has stretches where he looks like the best player on the court and others where he either disappears or tries to do too much.
Fultz posted 23 points on 9-for-16 shooting with five assists and five rebounds. He knocked down four 3-pointers, but had six turnovers. Thirteen points and four of his assists came in the fourth quarter.
The 76ers plan to give Fultz the day off Friday.
“I just took my time a little bit more,” Fultz said. “After passing throughout the game and picking my team up, stuff started to open up for me. So I just took shots that I had open and if I saw somebody, I tried to get them the ball.”
The Dallas Mavericks have put together some impressive comebacks during the Orlando Pro Summer League this week.
But Wednesday they got off to a blistering start and never looked back against Oklahoma City. Dallas converted 7 of 8 from 3-point range in the first quarter to open up a 35-17 lead. Swingman Brandon Paul was 4 of 5 from 3-point range to finish the first quarter with 14 points.
The Mavericks weren’t as dominant the rest of the way but didn’t need to be as they cruised to 96-75 victory to head into Thursday’s championship day with a 4-0 record.
“We’ve really been putting the pedal to the metal since we started Summer League,” said Paul, who finished with 20 points primarily on the strength of 6-of-10 shooting from behind the 3-point arc. “We have a lot of guys that click and guys that get after it on defense.”
Paul, who has played overseas and in the NBA G League since going undrafted out of Illinois in 2013, is hoping to open some NBA eyes during Summer League play. He was certainly impressive Wednesday with six rebounds, four assists, three steals and a blocked shot while giving the Mavs a plus-24 advantage during the nearly 26 minutes he spent on the floor.
“That’s something I’ve been trying to prove to these scouts, that I’m a consistent player,” Paul said. “I think I definitely showed that.”
Pistons coach Stan Van Gundy told rookie guard Luke Kennard that how he practices and plays during the Orlando Pro Summer League period would tell him if he is deserving of an opportunity to compete for a rotation spot come training camp.
He wanted to see how the No. 12 overall selection out of Duke could handle himself defensively against quicker and faster players. Consider Van Gundy impressed.
But there are no guarantees, of course.
“He has a chance, he has a chance to play. I’ve seen that,” Van Gundy said of the 6-foot-6 wing player. “How far he comes through the rest of the summer, in training camp and during the season, we’ll see.”
Kennard scored 14 points, including nine of the Pistons’ 11 points during a stretch, during an 87-82 victory over Charlotte. He has averaged 15.5 points through the first four games of the Orlando Pro Summer League.
— Oklahoma City 7-foot center Dakari Johnson has been one of the most dominant scorers during Summer League play, and has showed his versatility. The former second-round pick out of Kentucky brought the ball up the floor on some offensive sets and even attacked from the perimeter.
— Detroit second-year post player Henry Ellenson is looking far more comfortable his second go-around in the Orlando Summer League. The former first-round pick out of Marquette is leading the Pistons with 20.5 points and seven rebounds per game while shooting nearly 47 percent from the floor during the first four games.
— While Paul put up big numbers Wednesday, Luis Montero was also impressive off the Dallas bench. Montero, who has bounced around the NBA since going undrafted in 2015, went 5 for 5 from 3-point range to finish with 16 points while grabbing five rebounds and giving out five assists in a plus-22 performance.
— Orlando Magic point guard Kalin Lucas had a strong game with 20 points and seven assists during the win over the New York Knicks.
Thunder point guard Semaj Christon had his best scoring game of the Summer League on Wednesday with 16 points to go with eight assists. But he also had seven turnovers in the loss to Dallas. The Mavericks had just six turnovers as a team.
This is Championship Day on the final day of the Orlando Pro Summer League.
8 a.m. New York Knicks (0-4) vs. Miami Heat (0-4), seventh and eighth-place game.
10 a.m. Charlotte Hornets (2-2) vs. Orlando (2-2), fifth and sixth-place game.
12 p.m. Oklahoma City Thunder (2-2) vs. Indiana Pacers (3-1), third and fourth-place game.
2 p.m. Detroit Pistons (3-1) vs. Dallas Mavericks (4-0), Championship Game.
This is the final day of the Utah Jazz Summer League.
7 p.m. Philadelphia 76ers (0-2) vs. San Antonio Spurs (1-1).
9 p.m. Boston Celtics (1-1) vs. Utah Jazz (2-0).
Associated Press writer Terrance Harris in Orlando contributed to this report.
More AP NBA: www.apnews.com/tag/NBAbasketball
(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)