Two games into the NBA Summer League and Kawhi Leonard had scored a combined 50 points and led the San Antonio Spurs to two straight wins. After the Spurs’ victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Tuesday, Leonard had ice on a sore left wrist.
Well it seems Leonard’s stint in Las Vegas has come to an end as Jeff McDonald of the San Antonio Express News reported before Wednesday’s game with the Los Angeles Clippers that Leonard’s run in Vegas was done, though McDonald tweeted it wasn't due to the injury.
With Leonard done, Cory Joseph became the focal point of the Spurs’ offense Wednesday, along with James Anderson and Eric Dawson. Joseph had an impressive 22-points and six assists to lead the Spurs with Leonard out Wednesday, but Adam Morrison (23 points) and Eric Bledsoe (18 points) were just too much as the Clippers defeated the Spurs 86-80.
Joseph came out playing stellar basketball as he was knocking down jumpers, creating steals and turning them into points, and hitting from the 3-point line consistently as he scored 12 points in the first quarter. His counterpart Bledsoe led the Clippers with seven points as the Clipper took a 25-19 lead after one.
Morrison was scoreless in the first quarter, but he posted nine points in the second, while Bledsoe added six more to his total. As Joseph could only produce two points in the second, the Clippers’ lead grew to 12-points by halftime.
In the third quarter, Morrison may have either gotten himself a training camp invite from the Clippers or another team as he put up 14 points in the quarter alone. Joseph began forcing shots and was held scoreless in the third; the Clippers took a 69-53 lead into the final quarter.
Anderson, who had a chance to showcase himself with Leonard gone struggled as he finished with eight points on 3-of-8 shooting. He might be on highlight videos Thursday as Anderson had a ferocious dunk in the open court midway through the fourth quarter. Joseph did what he could to help the Spurs make a comeback with a 15-2 run that would eventually get the Clippers’ lead down to four, but in the end Bledsoe and Morrison were still too much. Joseph scored eight points in the final quarter; it’s just only going to get tougher with Leonard gone for the young Canadian, but it’s also a time for him to prove he’s worthy of playing backup to Tony Parker.
The Spurs have just two games remaining in Summer League, which continue Friday against the Miami Heat and end Saturday against the Dallas Mavericks.
- Eric Dawson and Luke Zellar both finished the game with 11 points each to help Joseph with the scoring load; Dawson also collected 13 rebounds for his second double-double in the Summer League.
- Rookie Marcus Denmon was a big part of the Spurs’ 15-2 run in the fourth quarter, as he ended up finishing the game with seven points.
- Ryan Richards finally got a good chunk of minutes (16), though he didn't use them wisely. Richards scored just two points, grabbed three rebounds, committed five personal fouls, and turned the ball over two times. I’ll have more on Richards in the near future on Project Spurs as I continue my Richards scouting reports from the Summer League.
(Photo: Shep McAllister/Spurs.com)
Shawn good observation. You are totally right. It aint all Ryan's fault. This offense has only been guard and wing oriented for sure...Only one ball and they aint giving it up much!
@Boo-J ya definitely not much ball movement going on..but it IS Summ lg afterall..Smalls are going to have ball to start O, and since ALL of them are looking to impress all the coaches/FOs out there it should be expected that there will be some selfish play happening. Translation: expect more of the same
i think ryan richards can play good if they would at least give him the ball down low. I am tired of just watching CJ and KL dribble around get a screen and shot the ball I want to see how some of the bigs play down on the box. RR beats his man almost every time down the court and never gets the pass. In all three games he has only got the ball down low 2 times. The guards need to start feeding the post!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Joseph looking really good. He appears to be a floor general type, but is attacking too. Too much emphasis may be put on these games, but a player has to make his mark. James Anderson had an opportunity to be more aggressive and produce. I still want to keep him though. His overall game appears to be progressing, but we want him to put the ball in the bucket most of all. Richards is very raw, but is still the most intriguing of all the bigs. "Intriguing" ??? that word will get you on covers of magazines and a bunch of meaningless tweets i guess, but in Spurs land, you wont last too long at all. Hope Richards gets camp invite at least. Free agency bigs are looking more and more "intriguing!" Well it is summer.... hope and intrigue make it part of the fun!
@Boo-J I think if RR gets a camp invite spurs HAVE to sign him or lose his rights..that's how I understood it anyway
@Spursfan66 Your right on having to sign him. it just brings back memories of all the time and effort we invested in Mahinmi to show nothing for it. Maybe Haasan Whitehead or Jerome Jordan are projects that could produce sooner especially as inside players. Richards appears to want to be a Lamar Odom wing, stretch four type. I still want Richards signed as 15th guy. Waive Blair (if we cant trade him for future pick) for one of those guys mentioned above?? Let's see how we do against Miami tonite!