Hart Continues Dominant Summer in Win Over Clippers
LAS VEGAS — Josh Hart spent the offseason focusing on improving his ball handling and jump shooting. Because of those skills, he is the summer league MVP frontrunner and the Lakers are heading to the quarterfinals.
Hart led the way once again in an 82-69 win over the LA Clippers, putting up 20 points, six rebounds and pairs of steals and blocks.
He started the game shooting just 1-of-6 from the field, but then sunk six of his next seven attempts.
Hart gashed the Clippers with his handle, making three driving layups and a couple of pick-and-roll 3-pointers.
“When he starts getting downhill and putting pressure on the rim, it’s better for everybody,” summer league coach Miles Simon said.
Hart entered the game as the second-leading scorer at summer league. Through four contests, he is averaging 22.5 points, while shooting 46.0 percent from the field and 42.4 from beyond the arc.
But the 30th pick of last year’s draft isn’t overly concerned about joining teammate Lonzo Ball on the list of summer league MVPs.
“Accolades, don’t get me wrong, they’re nice,” Hart said. “But without the team you’re nothing by yourself.”
Hart received plenty of assistance from Svi Mykhailiuk, who put up 15 points on 5-of-7 shooting with four assists.
Like Hart, Mykhailiuk has used the summer to prove that he has a lot more in his arsenal than just hitting spot-up shots.
Against the Clippers, Mykhailiuk did most of his damage with the ball in his hands, including on a filthy combination of two between-the-legs dribbles followed by a step-back.
“Oh it was nasty,” Hart said. “He had a lot of sauce on that one. I was out there on the wing, like, ‘What the hell? OK!’”
Hart and Mykhailiuk were also among the Lakers’ leaders on the defensive side of the floor, where the Clippers struggled without rookies Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Jerome Robinson.
Though the Lakers were missing their own first-round draft pick — Moe Wagner, who is out for the rest of summer league with a leg contusion — their defense held the Clippers to a 35.3 percent clip from the field and just 4-of-18 from 3-point range.
With this wire-to-wire victory over their intracity foes, the Lakers have now won 10 straight games in Las Vegas dating back to last summer.
This latest win advances them into the quarterfinals, where they will play on Sunday at 1 p.m. PT against the winner of Saturday’s match between Chicago and Detroit.
MVP Mood pic.twitter.com/z81Gs0INpq— Los Angeles Lakers (@Lakers) July 13, 2018
Johnathan Williams (eight points, eight rebounds) and Alex Caruso (eight points, seven assists) were key. … Lance Stephenson, Luke Walton and various assistant coaches sat courtside. … Desi Rodriguez led the Clippers with 17 points.