Summer League: Cavaliers 86, Sixers 77
LAS VEGAS –– A capacity crowd filled the stands at Cox Pavilion in Las Vegas for Nerlens Noel’s Samsung NBA Summer League debut against Andrew Wiggins and the Cavaliers. They weren’t disappointed.
The Sixers fell behind by 21 early in the third quarter, but fought their way back to make it a four-point game with under three minutes to play. In the end, though, the Cavaliers were able to hold on and secure an 86-77 victory.
Philadelphia was led by Jordan McRae, who scored 18 points on 5-of-12 shooting and also notched four steals.
Nerlens Noel filled the stat sheet with 12 points (6/12 FG), six rebounds, four blocks, and two steals in 29 minutes, but despite his statistically impressive outing, he wasn’t especially pleased.
“I’d give it a ‘C’,” he said when asked to grade his performance. “I just felt I wasn’t active enough, and I felt my energy was a little down.”
Monday’s game was just Noel’s fourth since his return to organized basketball 17 months after tearing his left ACL as a freshman at Kentucky. Sixers assistant coach and Samsung NBA Summer League head coach Chad Iske said after the game that he expects the 20-year-old center’s stamina to improve once he gets back into a rhythm of playing games consistently.
“We’re just happy with where he’s at right now,” said Iske. “We know it’s not a sprint, and that we’re looking at the long haul with him. We’re not going to be married to what we see in the first couple months of the season or right now. We know it’s a project over a long series of time.
Through four summer league games (three in Orlando and one in Las Vegas), Noel has averaged 13.3 points, 5.8 rebounds, 3.3 blocks, and 2.3 steals.
Matthew Dellavedova led Cleveland with 19 points on 6-of-9 shooting on Monday, and Andrew Wiggins scored 10 points (4/8 FG) and contributed three blocks and a pair of steals.
The Sixers are back in action Tuesday at 8pm (EST) against the Phoenix Suns. Catch the game on The Comcast Network (locally) and NBA TV (nationally). As always, you can also watch on NBA.com via Summer League Live.