Summer League Recap: Sixers 84, Thunder 73
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By Dan Savage
July 6, 2014
ORLANDO -- Casper Ware is doing his best to prove to the Sixers that they made the right decision keeping him around last season.
Ware, who closed out the 2013-14 campaign with Philadelphia after playing through two 10-day contracts, notched team-highs in points (20) and assists (five) to go along with five rebounds as the Sixers (1-1) held off the Oklahoma City Thunder (0-2) for an 84-73 victory on Sunday in Southwest Airlines Orlando Pro Summer League action.
"(Ware's) been great, he's been everything for us," said Sixers Assistant Coach Lloyd Pierce, who is serving as the team's Summer League head coach. "He made big shots tonight, he was the guy that got us through."
For Ware, it's all about continuing to prove that he belongs.
"Of course I want to make the team and get a signed contract, but other than that I just want to come out here and play hard and do what I do best," he explained.
However, he wasn’t the only young talent looking to make his presence felt.
Travis Bader also made an impact.
The former Oakland University star, who holds the all-time NCAA record for 3-pointers made in a career (504), fired off 13 points and dished out four assists.
Bader, who surprisingly did not hear his name called in the 2014 NBA Draft, flashed the steady shooting that may earn him a contract in the league, going 4-for-7 from the floor and a perfect 4-for-4 from the charity stripe.
"I've proven that I can shoot the ball," said Bader. "I'm trying to show that I can defend and do other things out there on the court."
K.J. McDaniels, a second round selection for Philadelphia (No. 32 overall), also caught some eyes, notching 13 points and four rebounds, while Ronald Roberts Jr., an undrafted free agent out of St. Joe’s, scored 12.
Oklahoma City’s Mario Little, a standout for the NBA D-League’s Tulsa 66ers last season, erupted for 12 of his team-high 18 points in the second half.
Steven Adams continued to build on his strong rookie campaign by scoring 12, while Andre Roberson notched 12 points and 10 rebounds.
After a solid outing on Saturday, Philadelphia’s Nerlens Noel did not play as a precautionary measure, while Hollis Thompson sat out due to left knee soreness.
The Thunder are back at it on Monday when they face the Brooklyn Nets at 7 p.m. ET. The Sixers will have a day off before returning to action against the Houston Rockets on Tuesday at 7 p.m. ET.