TrueHoop: Nuggets

Thursday Bullets

July, 17, 2008
7/17/08
2:16
PM ET
By Maurice Brooks
  • If I would have known that Knicks' first-round pick Danilo Gallinari might only play one game, I would have watched warm-ups a lot more closely.
  • Greg Oden goes one-on-one with J.E. Skeets.
  • The big three of Marcus Camby, Allen Iverson and Carmelo Anthony weren't going to be planning a championship parade anytime soon.
  • According to Brent Barry, he has two seasons left as an NBA player. Helping the Rockets win a title would be the perfect ending to his career.
  • This is not exactly how Luol Deng and Ben Gordon drew it up.
  • By signing Daniel Gibson early, the Cavaliers are proving they have learned from their mistakes.
  • Allegedly Canada's national team coach told Samuel Dalembert to take a hike.
  • Here is some really good advice for Ron Artest.

First Cup: Thursday

July, 17, 2008
7/17/08
10:07
AM ET
  • Steve Bulpett of the Boston Herald: "Danny Ainge is the reigning NBA Executive of the Year. And if the Celtics are to win another championship this season, the director of basketball operations will have to come up with a performance worthy of a repeat. There is more than one way to knit a championship banner, but replacing James Posey will be difficult. ... In the end, the Celtics believed Posey's outside shooting was his biggest tangible contribution and that they can get that from other sources for less money. They believed they would have been tying their hands down the line. Are they correct? Ask that question again in 11 months. In the meantime, Ainge has once again shown he won't take the easy way if he doesn't believe it's the right way. In altering a successful formula, he's clearly put himself on the line, kind of like Posey so willingly stepping behind the 3-point arc late in games."TrueHoop First Cup
  • Chris Tomasson of the Rocky Mountain News: "Realistically, though, the Nuggets probably will be luxury tax payers next season. If J.R. Smith comes back for the qualifying offer, their payroll could be around $75 million. If he gets $5 million for next season, it could be around $77 million. So Stan Kroenke might not really be a happy man until 2009-10, after Allen Iverson's contract comes off the books. By then, he has a very good chance of not being a tax payer. How good his team will be remains to be seen."
  • Mike Wells of The Indianapolis Star: "T.J. Ford lives for the postseason. He lives for the national television exposure, the hope of winning an NBA title and having 14 other Eastern Conference teams sitting on their couches, eating popcorn, watching him play. Ford wants those same things to happen with the Indiana Pacers. 'I'm familiar with that playoff taste and I'm not ready to give that taste up,' said Ford, who has been to the playoffs in three of his four NBA seasons. 'That's the challenge and the goal, to show people we are contenders in the East.'"
  • John Rohde of The Oklahoman: "According to Christopher Arena, the NBA's vice president for apparel, sporting goods and partnerships, 'It's usually a 22-month process' to approve a new nickname, color scheme and whatever else is involved. Twenty two months? So, if this relocation process started roughly the same time Rhett Bomar got booted off the Oklahoma football team two summers ago, we'd be on the cusp of learning the nickname of our new NBA team? Twenty two months? Two months short of two years is too darn long to wait. Perhaps this explains why the Jazz never changed nicknames when they moved from New Orleans to Utah, ditto for the Grizzlies from Vancouver to Memphis, the Lakers from Minneapolis to Los Angeles, et al. They didn't want to wait on all the NBA paperwork. We realize there are a lot of i's to dot and t's to cross in a project like this, but 22 months' worth?"
  • Sekou Smith of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution: "As far as calculated risks go, Speedy Claxton is taking a major one. The Hawks' oft-injured point guard is currently taking part in the Hawks' free-agent minicamp. He will also play summer league, which starts Friday in Salt Lake City. ... He requested the opportunity to join the youngsters and free-agent hopefuls who were on the Hawks' practice floor Wednesday. He needs to know if he can still do this, and do it the way he's been able. 'I'm not worried about what anybody else thinks and who might be out there gunning for me,' said Claxton, a seven-year veteran who already has an NBA title on his resume. 'I'm doing this for me, trying to check and see how my knee feels and how I can play and how I can do on consecutive days. I haven't been out here in a long time.'"
  • John Smallwood of the Philadelphia Daily News: "The players can only hope that management still feels as good about them now as it did last summer. The odds are the Sixers will come to Iguodala with a suitable contract offer -- probably similar to the one he originally rejected. They know what he brings to the table and want to keep him happy. They didn't sign Brand simply to create another problem by having to replace Iguodala. The plan is for Brand and Iguodala to take the Sixers to the next level. Thanks to the Clippers and Denver Nuggets, that should now be a bit easier to accomplish."
  • Raphael Bartholomew of The New York Times: "For N.B.A. players making their first visit to the Philippines, the adoration of fans can be flattering and startling. 'They make you feel like you're a god,' said Gilbert Arenas, who recently spent three days promoting his new line of sneakers. 'When my N.B.A. career is done, I have to play here one year just to feel that.' Arenas, 26, sometimes jokes that being the Washington Wizards' franchise player makes him 'the black president.' Sure enough, this tour gave him a taste of presidential life."
  • Kurt Kragthorpe of The Salt Lake Tribune: "If Larry Miller's extended hospital stay illustrates anything, it is that the hardest-working Utahn of us all is mortal, and that he's not going to be making all the big decisions about the Jazz forever. Not even his son could say Wednesday exactly what the division of labor or the time table for transition will be, such as who will represent the team among the owners on the NBA Board of Governors. Yet he knows that somebody in the organization has to be the one ultimately making decisions about player contracts, luxury taxes and other issues. At some point, obviously, he will be the guy. That will require some adjustment. 'I would consider myself to be a big Jazz fan. I don't think it would be accurate to say I'm as interested as Larry is,' Greg Miller said. 'The fact is, I don't have as much at stake at the moment as Larry does.'Someday, that will be the case.'"
  • Dwight Jaynes of The Portland Tribune: "Take it easy, Blazer fans. Jerryd Bayless could set the Vegas Summer League on fire this week, but it wouldn't mean a whole heck of a lot. Let's back up and add a little perspective before getting carried away with this talent. Success in the summer league doesn't exactly mean you're going to be a consistent NBA player when the regular season starts. Who was the most valuable player in Las Vegas last summer? Nate Robinson of the New York Knicks, who started a grand total of 17 games last season for the Knicks. And who won the MVP the year prior to that? Well, it was Minnesota's Randy Foye, who may or may not someday be a pretty decent NBA player."

First Cup: Wednesday

July, 16, 2008
7/16/08
10:12
AM ET
  • Woody Paige of The Denver Post: "Camby for Gumby? Actually, the Nuggets got ... get this: the right to exchange second-round draft choices with the Clippers in 2010. Uh. A blipping second-round draft-pick swap. Duh. They'd been better off acquiring a lovable, green clay figure with a horse named Pokey. The Nuggets got clipped. ... They call that outrageous deal a plan to win a playoff series? They call that ridiculous move a way to improve the defense? They call that nonsensical decision the solution to the Nuggets' problems? They should call that the 9-1-1 deal."TrueHoop First Cup
  • Chris Tomasson of the Rocky Mountain News: "Mark Warkentien was asked if he's concerned about the public-relations implications of getting nothing immediate for Camby, who averaged 9.1 points, 13.1 rebounds and an NBA-high 3.61 blocked shots last season. 'It's not a checkers move,' he said. 'It's a chess move. Chess is a tougher game to understand. You've got to wait longer to see the results of the move.' Rick Kaplan said Camby was 'shocked.' He said Camby, who played six Nuggets seasons, was most concerned about his charity endeavors in Denver."
  • Steve Springer of the Los Angeles Times: "It's the biggest rebound of the year for the Clippers. And, arguably, the most dramatic in their tortured history. One week after the heart and soul of their team, their most skilled, most respected and most beloved player, Elton Brand, walked out on them, along with Corey Maggette, their leading scorer, the Clippers obtained an imposing substitute in 6-foot-11, 235-pound Marcus Camby."
  • Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer: "Patience could pay off for the Charlotte Bobcats, in regard to Emeka Okafor, after the Los Angeles Clippers made a big trade Tuesday. The Clippers used up most of their room under the salary cap, absorbing the $11.2million salary of Denver Nuggets center Marcus Camby. The Nuggets, deep in luxury-tax territory, needed to reduce payroll, and accepted a second-round pick for Camby. The Clippers previously had about $12million under the cap, and were a threat to sign Okafor, a restricted free agent, to an offer sheet. 'It eliminates a scenario,' said Bobcats general manager Rod Higgins, while watching his team play a summer-league game against the Golden State Warriors. 'Still, it was just more speculation from our standpoint.'"
  • Scott Howard-Cooper of the Sacramento Bee: "One of the best and worst thing about the Maloofs as Kings owners is that they're fans and often lead with their emotions, and so they're as frustrated by the waves of nuttiness as you. But here's what they won't say, with any tone: It's their fault too. Not just Joe or Gavin or Mama Maloof, as Ron Artest calls Colleen, the family matriarch. Anyone in the organization that had a hand in trading for him. Anyone in the organization that has not seen to it that Artest has not been traded away. Anyone in the organization that has let him get away with it for the two years, 5 months and 19 days in the interim. Not that you're counting."
  • Jeff Rabjohns of The Indianapolis Star: "After leading the Big East regular-season champion Hoyas in scoring (13.4), rebounding (6.4) and blocked shots (2.2) as a senior, Roy Hibbert said Tuesday his immediate goal is 'jump in headfirst and make a splash.' ...'Obviously, being a defensive presence is one thing a big man has to make sure he does,' Hibbert said. "Shooting and scoring, that's one thing. But at the same time, I have to protect the basket, so I'm going to make sure I do that to the best of my ability. I know a lot is going to be asked of me, and I'm going to make sure to bring it every day.'"
  • Marcus Thompson II of the Contra Costa Times: "For all those who doubt Anthony Randolph, keep doubting. For all those who say he's too skinny, too raw, for the highest level of basketball, keep talking. He's listening. 'It's motivation,' Randolph said Tuesday. 'People always have their opinions. I have so much to prove.'"
  • Tim Buckley of the Deseret News: "Yaroslav Korolev returned in December to his native Russia and played instead for his hometown Moscow Dynamo, thinking the whole time about an eventual return to the NBA. And now he is a free agent in the Jazz's Rocky Mountain Revue camp, now just 21 and hoping to salvage what once was at his fingertips. 'It's the best league in the world, and everybody's trying to go here. Me, too,' Korolev said Tuesday. 'Especially at my age,' he added, 'I still have a lot of years in front of me, so I'm gonna do my best to get back here as early as I can.'"
  • Terry Foster of The Detroit News: "Jason Richardson is aware. He sees plant closings, struggling families and high crime rates. And he recognizes the power of his position as an NBA star. So Richardson, capitalizing on his status, is reaching out to children in his hometown of Saginaw. He said it's important for him to act now, while the kids still can see him dunking and hitting 3-point shots for the Charlotte Bobcats. On Friday, Richardson will host his third annual Man-up Forum in Saginaw Valley State University's Curtiss Hall Auditorium. This year's theme is 'bridging the gap between fathers and sons.' ... 'The expression 'man-up' means that men have to face what's in front of them -- responsibility, challenges, fears -- anything that needs addressing," Richardson says. 'That's what we're doing at the forum: addressing the common concerns we face as men of all ages and personal backgrounds.'"

Monday Mini-Bullets

July, 14, 2008
7/14/08
8:26
PM ET

By Maurice Brooks

By Maurice Brooks

The Tractor

The sight of Robert "Tractor" Traylor running up and down the floor for the Cavaliers is exactly what summer league hoops is all about. The veteran, who last played in the NBA in 2005, is trying to earn a roster spot.

He is performing well for a guy who hasn't been in the league in a few years -- making three of his first four shots, while pulling down a board and giving out an assist.

Traylor finished with eight points and three rebounds in 17 minutes.


The Rooster

Meanwhile, New York's Danilo Gallinari is not off to a good start. The No. 6 pick in the draft has missed his first five shots before splashing a jumper with just over two minutes left in the third quarter.

Danilo Gallinari
Gallinari is going to turn boos to cheers in N.Y.
(Laura Rauch/AP)

ESPN's rookie guru David Thorpe weighs in on what he's seen so far from Gallinari.

"Basically the first adjustment he has to make is to the style of play in summer league with these athletes compared to a physical but smooth, smartly played European game. These are boys for the most part, compared to the men he is used to playing against. There isn't any kind of rhythm to what's going on. He's obviously a good shooter, but the NBA line is further back than the European line -- so he has to change his shooting habit, meaning he has to bend his knees more to make up for the difference in range.

"Physically, he looks great. He's not a stick figure, he has a great body. One thing I love, even though he missed his first five shots, it didn't impact how hard he played and because of that he has now scored eight points in the last two minutes. The teaching point: You can't let success on shots impact effort. He has that figured out. He kept fighting and now look, the Knicks have the lead thanks to his play."

The Knicks lead 68-67 after three quarters thanks to Gallinari, who knocked down two long jumpers, followed up a missed shot with a dunk and made two free throws after drawing a foul on a strong post move.

He has picked up in the fourth quarter where he left off in the third. To the crowd's delight, he just nailed another jumper and is clearly in a groove now.

Everyone in Knicksland feels good as the Knicks edged the Cavaliers by three and Gallinari showed that he is a player. After a scoreless first half, he finished with 14 points on 5-for-11 shooting (0-for-4 on treys). He pulled down six rebounds and handed out two assists.


The No. 26

New York's Wilson Chandler didn't have ice on his elbow after the game, but it has to be sore after firing up 21 shots. He played extremely well, making 11 of those attempts to finish with 26 points. With Quentin Richardson and Stephon Marbury in the crowd, he also tallied eight rebounds, three assists, two steals and two blocks.

J.J. Hickson
Hickson looked like the real deal Monday afternoon.
(Laura Rauch/AP)

Cleveland rookie J.J. Hickson, who played only one year at N.C. State, matched Chandler's 26 with 26 of his own. He went 11-for-15 and grabbed nine rebounds.

Here is what the No. 19 pick had to say after the game.

"I was trying to be aggressive. I competed well, but not well enough because we didn't win," Hickson said. "My role is to play hard and block shots. I wouldn't have come out of college early if I didn't think I was ready to play on this level."

Thorpe, who just updated his Rookie Report, liked what he saw from Hickson.

"He got his points with a skilled face-up game. He gave a great effort and was very active and physical. He finished well around the rim."


Nuggets vs. Raptors

I've watched the entire first half of this contest and have yet to be moved to write anything. Joey Graham continues to play as if he has a point to prove and leads all scorers with 11 points. Dahntay Jones is high man for the Nuggets, who lead 39-34, with eight.

Although he hasn't scored a point, I'm happy that Nuggets guard Chris Lofton is on the floor. The former University of Tennessee standout, who made more triples than anyone is SEC history, had a cancerous tumor removed from one of his testicles in March 2007.

He didn't get drafted, but is now trying to catch on with Denver.


Blazers vs. Wizards: Bayless Is the Truth

It took Jerryd Bayless all of 15 seconds to be whistled for his first summer league foul. That was about the only thing that didn't go his way during the first 10 minutes of his professional career. Playing mostly off the ball, he went to the line eight times -- making six -- and led all players with 10 points. Despite his lack of size, the Portland guard had no problem creating his own shot.

Petteri Koponen did a good job of running the team, and although he didn't have an assist, he did score five points as the Blazers took a two-point lead after one quarter.

Washington big man JaVale McGee is still trying to work the kinks out of his game, missing five of his first six shots in eight minutes.

It's halftime and Bayless has run his point total up to 17. It's not supposed to be this easy.

In the second half, Bayless has continued his strong play, but it has been Koponen who has impressed with his outside shot. He just hit back-to-back long jumpers and has 19 points for the game.

Bayless just fired in two pivotal free throws with 12.3 seconds left to give himself a game-high 27 points and the Blazers a four-point lead.

He finished with 28 points (5-for-12 from the field, 18-for-23 from the line) in a Portland victory.


DraftExpress President Jonathan Givony

DraftExpress president Jonathan Givony has joined me courtside to give his thoughts on the first half of Wizards vs. Blazers.

TrueHoop: What did you think of Portland's Jerryd Bayless in the first half?

DraftExpress: Probably the most impressive first-half performance by any rookie in the summer league so far. He played a similar role to how Portland will use him in their real offense at the 2 alongside a big point guard -- Koponen/Roy. I love how aggressive he was, trying to get to the rim, finishing with both hands. He's athletic, skilled and doesn't fall in love with his jumper like a lot of combo guards these days tend to do. He also competed admirably on defense and tried to take a charge.

TrueHoop: I think Portland's Petteri Koponen did a nice job of handling the rock and can play both guard positions.

DraftExpress: He was very impressive, much better than last year. I'm very intrigued by his combination of size, ballhandling skills, athleticism and basketball IQ. He showed a lot of poise and has a pretty stroke and didn't look bad defensively.

TrueHoop: Washington's JaVale McGee didn't look good at all out there. What did you notice?

DraftExpress: No surprise here whatsoever. This is how he looked in college often. The Wizards would be the first ones to tell you that he is two or three years away. Still, you can't ignore his physical tools. The guy is a freak, look at his arms an
d athleticism. He just needs to learn how to play.


Getting Up and Down

At Thomas & Mack, the Suns and Rockets are playing at break-neck speed. As a result, Houston's Donte Greene is in position to break the summer league record for points in a game (42). The forward hit 7 of 10 shots and 7 of 8 free throws for a first-half total of 23 points. He scored 19 in the first quarter.

He got his buckets in a bunch of different ways -- off the dribble, cutting to the basket, knocking down jumpers. He hustled for loose balls and played hard on both ends of the floor.

Phoenix, which leads 64-51, received strong contributions from Robin Lopez and D.J. Strawberry.

Lopez went 4-of-5 from the field and the line en route to 12 points. He had a monster dunk and a big rejection.

Strawberry, who led summer league in helpers last year, has 17 points, five dimes and four rebounds.

Greene finished the game with 40 points. He went 12-for-20 from the floor, 5-of-10 from deep and 11-of-12 from the charity stripe in Houston's 100-97 comeback win.

Lopez, who is known for his defense, showed he has offensive skills, too. His final numbers: 19 points (5-of-13 shooting) and five rebounds.


The Love Era Has Begun

Somebody tell Kevin Love that in the NBA you have to move your feet. He picked up four fouls in seven minutes and now finds himself sitting on the bench. Before he left, he did some good things. He put the ball on the floor, drew a foul and was awarded the basket on a goaltending call for his first two pro points. He also knocked down a 15-foot jumper and passed well in the half-court set. On the defensive side, he snatched a board, and his first outlet pass ended up out of bounds. The point guards are going to need time to learn to appreciate his ability to get them the ball in stride.

Midway through the second quarter, the Mavericks have doubled Minnesota's point total.

It's a safe bet that Love is going to lead summer league in rebounds. He attacks the glass as if his life depends on it. If the ball comes off anywhere near him, it's his. In the first half, he struggled from the line, missing three of seven, but still finished with eight points and five rebounds.

In the second half, he is trying to score more. He has two putbacks. He made a layup off a nice pass from Corey Brewer. He just hit a hook shot. The good: Love has 16 points and 10 rebounds. The bad: He has six fouls and his team is still down 20.

Love finished the game with 18 points and 13 rebounds. The Mavericks got the 88-74 win. 

Maurice Brooks

Day 2 is underway with the Raptors clinging to a small lead over the Kings. Toronto's Joey Graham (18 points) and Sacramento's Spencer Hawes (14) are slugging it out for game-high scoring honors midway through the third period.

On a side note, all that stuff about anything goes in Vegas is not entirely true. Last night I was denied entry -- to of all things, an NBA Summer League party -- at the Palms for wearing shorts. Sure I know you're supposed to wear pants to the club, but when it's 108 degrees outside, I thought that rule went out the window. Apparently not.

In the comments section of yesterday's live blog, someone wrote that Ron Artest had been traded to the Lakers. If that is the case, someone forgot to tell Ron-Ron because he's here hanging out with Kevin Martin sitting behind the Kings' bench.

I know it's only Day 2, but this has been the most entertaining game so far. Think pickup ball in the park -- complete with Quincy Douby cherry picking. Toronto's Jaycee Carroll (as I'm typing this, he fired up an airball) can really shoot it, and Hawes shoots and passes a lot better than I remember.

Graham is attacking the basket every time he gets a touch, and although he has eight fouls (you are allowed 10 before fouling out in summer league), he has 24 points.

The Kings earned the 93-86 victory over the Raptors thanks to Hawes and Douby combining to score 43 points. Patrick Ewing, Jr. got the start at forward for the Kings, missing all four of his shot attempts and finishing with zero points.

I'm looking forward to watching the Bobcats' D.J. Augustin and the Clippers' Eric Gordon in the next game. Although I didn't think Charlotte needed another point guard, I love the way Augustin gets up and down the floor.

Maybe I put the jinx on Augustin who hasn't done anything in the early going to distinguish himself. He finished the period with zero assists and no points. Just like last night, Gordon once again is showing that he is not shy. He squeezed off four shots, while playing the entire first period, but only connected on one.

For the second day in a row, the gym is full. I guess it's a hoop junkie's dream. For $20 you get to see four games featuring young hungry players, get closer to the NBA action than you normally would and you're in Las Vegas. I guess that is a winning formula.

At halftime, everyone in attendance got all of the proof needed that those who can't play, heckle. "Clipper Darrell", who has worn a homemade Clippers outfits to the arena the last two days and made life miserable for L.A. opponents, was chosen to participate in a shooting contest. Showing off form that even Bill Cartwright could make fun of, he only made one of his 10-plus shot attempts. Also, he got a taste of his own medicine -- the crowd booed.

Augustin has done a good job getting off his own shot, although he hasn't been in playmaker mode. Through three quarter he is 4-for-7 from the floor and 5-for-6 from the line for a total of 14 points. He has just one assist.

If I were on the Clippers' coaching staff, I'd sit Al Thornton. He doesn't need the extra work. He has 19 points and six boards and pretty much can do what he wants, when he wants. This will be the last summer that we will ever see him playing summer league ball.

Gordon's shaky shooting from the floor has apparently carried over to the foul line where he is a Shaq-like 3-for-7. That is almost as bad as his shooting from 3-point range (1 of 5).

It looks like Gordon has pulled his hamstring. He went to the hole and when he came down he immediately grabbed the back of his leg. The medical staff is taking a look.

Gordon limped off the court following the Clippers' 81-66 loss. This is what he had to say after the game.

"I hurt it pretty bad and don't know what is going to happen," Gordon said. "I'll see how it feels tomorrow."

Gordon, who finished with 15 points on 4-for-10 shooting, was pleased that he went to the free-throw line 10 times (making six).

"I pride myself on getting to the line, even if my shot isn't falling," Gordon said.

Gordon looks forward to playing with L.A.'s new point guard.

"Me and Baron [Davis] have similar styles," Gordon said. "We can both play the one and the two and I'm going to do anything I can to help the team."

Augustin didn't score any more points and finished with two assists. He was happy with how he performed once his nerves calmed down.

"In the beginning, I was a little shaky," Augustin said. "This was my first time out. I did better as the game went on and I was trying to get the ball to my teammates."

Augustin is looking forward to working with first-year Bobcats coach Larry Brown.

"Coach Brown likes to teach and I'm learning a lot," Augustin said. "I was a little surprised the Bobcats drafted me, but I'm happy to be here."

Andre Iguodala, J.R. Smith and Marcus Camby were all in the house to watch the Nuggets blow out the Sixers in Game 3.

Just like I don't want to see Thornton play for the Clippers, I think the Sixers should shut down Thaddeus Young for the rest of the Vegas trip. He followed up yesterday's monster game by posting 22 points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals. Anyone that is in their team's regular rotation, doesn't need to be here.

Marreese Speights played under more control today and finished all of his shots around the basket. The rookie missed just two of nine shots, scoring 14 and he grabbed five rebounds. The Sixers still need an outside shooter and nobody on the summer league roster appears ready to fill that void.

Watching how smooth Dahntay Jones plays, it is hard to believe that he has not had a better career. He has all of the tools. He paced the Nuggets with 21 points, hitting 8-for-15 from the floor.

The Bucks, who are playing their first game, are about to take the floor against the Grizzlies.

Milwaukee first-round pick Joe Alexander was active, but his numbers so far aren't pretty. Playing almost 18 minutes in the first half, he scored just five points and pulled down three rebounds. He missed six of his first seven attempts.

What a difference a night makes. Darrell Arthur couldn't miss on Friday, but he has made just 2 of 7 to start the game tonight. Meanwhile, one minute into the third period, O.J. Mayo has already taken the same amount of shots as he did all of yesterday. He is 4-for-10 from the floor for a game-high 12 points. Make or miss, there is no doubt his confidence is growing.

The Bucks keep leaving Mayo open in the corner and he keeps making them pay. He just hit back-to-back triples, giving him a game-high 23 points after three quarters.

Memphis' 88-79 win wraps up Day 2. Mayo tallied 26 points on 9-for-19 shooting (4 of 6 on 3s) and he cut his turnovers in half (4) from Friday.

Alexander made just 2 of 13 shots for a total of seven points.

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