Hansbrough shines in summer-league debut

Tyler Hansbrough takes it up strong against a Nets/Sixers defender in summer-league play Monday in Orlando.
(Fernando Medina/NBAE/Getty Images)
By David Benner | Orlando, Fla.
It was an ominous start for Tyler Hansbrough – a turnover on his first offensive possession as he came off the bench with 5:03 to play in the first quarter – but a pleasing finish for the Indiana Pacers’ No. 1 draft choice.

  • Box score
  • Hansbrough making strong first impression
  • Pacers Summer League Central
  • Hansbrough led the Pacers with 17 points in a 75-67 overtime victory over a combined team from Philadelphia/New Jersey in the opening game of the Orlando Summer League at the RDV Sportsplex Monday afternoon. Hansbrough added five rebounds and three steals despite being plagued with foul problems (four in the first half).

    “I was a little nervous at first, but then I settled down,” said Hansbrough, who scored 14 points in the second half. “I was pleased with my performance, I thought I played well and it was a good experience for me, but I’m just glad we got a win. I certainly didn’t intend on getting fouls, but I’m learning the NBA, our system and the rules. I’m still getting used to that.”

    The Pacers trailed throughout much of the game – thanks to Marreese Speights’ 28-point, 11 rebound performance for Philly/NJ – but never by more than five points. Roy Hibbert tied the game at 65 on a short hook shot with 52.5 seconds left and both teams missed two opportunities apiece to go ahead before regulation ended to send the game into OT.

    From a tie at 67, Brandon Rush hit two free throws, Will Blaylock a free throw and Trey Johnson a pair of free throws with 39.7 left to secure the victory for the Pacers.

    “It was nice to start with a win,” said Pacers Coach Jim O’Brien. “I thought our guys did a nice job coming back from five down late in the fourth quarter. I thought Roy did a nice job (12 points, nine rebounds after a slow start), Tyler obviously did a good job in spite of the foul trouble and Brandon struggled (16 points on 4 of 18 from the floor) but he’ll be better tomorrow. Holding them to 36 percent shooting gave us a chance to win the game.”

    Second-round draft pick A.J. Price had eight points and four assists. Josh McRoberts had four points, six rebounds, four assists and three steals. Turnovers (22 from each team) and shooting (the Pacers shot 37 percent) plagued both teams.

    The Pacers will play Oklahoma City Tuesday night in the 7 p.m. game