Sullinger's Celtics Top Jones' Thunder
By Josh Cohen
July 9, 2012


ORLANDO – Featuring a pair of headliners that each heard their names called later than desired in last month’s NBA Draft, it was Jared Sullinger’s Boston Celtics who edged Perry Jones’ Oklahoma City Thunder, 73-65, on Monday in 2012 AirTran Airways Orlando Pro Summer League action.

Many teams were scared away by the reports that both Sullinger (back) and Jones (knee) may have injury concerns.

But each – at least for a day – revealed why it wasn’t long ago that most experts had both Sullinger and Jones as projected lottery picks.

Sullinger posted 20 points, including a critical three-point play with just over two minutes remaining, and six rebounds, and Jones recorded 16 points and eight rebounds in their professional debuts.

"He's got agility, he knows how to play the game and he's smart," Celtics Summer League head coach Tyronn Lue said about Sullinger's performance. "We wouldn't have won without him."

While most observers on hand at Amway Center had their eyes on these two, the 21st and 28th selections respectively, others including Boston’s E’Twaun Moore (16 points) and OKC’s Reggie Jackson (19 points) and Lazar Hayward (18 points) also flourished.

The Celtics connected on seven 3-pointers, including two each from Jamar Smith and Dionte Christmas, and dished out seven more assists than their opponents.

Next up for Boston on Day 2 is a matchup against Brooklyn, which lost its first game against Orlando, while Oklahoma City will look for a rebound performance when it clashes against Indiana.