Jayson Tatum’s 27 points propelled the Boston Celtics to an 86-81 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers in a Las Vegas Summer League battle at Thomas and Mack Center on Saturday night.
The anticipated showdown between two of the NBA’s most promising rookies largely lived up to the billing, with the two teams engaging in a nip-and-tuck battle. Neither side shot particularly well, with the Lakers (0-2) edging the Celtics (1-0) in that category by a 42.1 percent to 38.6 percent margin. Both teams did do a solid job in taking care of the ball, however, with Boston committing only 10 turnovers and Los Angeles handing it over on 15 occasions. Like Tatum, Lonzo Ball also provided his squad with a boost, producing an 11-point, 11-rebound, 11-assist triple-double that also included a steal and a block.
Tatum added 11 rebounds to his team-high scoring haul and also recorded a block. Second-round pick Semi Ojeleye turned in an impressive effort in his own right, producing 19 points, three rebounds and an assist. Abdel Nader followed with 14 points, seven rebounds, two assists, a steal and a block. Second-year man Jaylen Brown, who put together an impressive rookie campaign last season, poured in 11 points and added three rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block.
Kyle Kuzma, a 2017 first-round pick of the Nets that came over in the D’Angelo Russell trade, led the way for the Lakers with a game-high 31 points, which he complemented with nine rebounds, two assists, a steal and a block. Josh Hart supplied 15 points, five rebounds, an assist, a steal and a block. David Nwaba, who showed some promise as a rookie in limited action last season, posted 13 points, eight rebounds, two assists, a steal and a block.