Denver Nuggets 89, Dallas Mavericks 85 (OT): Three takeaways from fourth Summer League game

by Alex Labidou
Nuggets.com Staff Writer
@LabidouA

The Summer League losing streak is over and the Nuggets will have an electric performance from Bones Hyland to thank in securing a 89-85 overtime win over the Dallas Mavericks.

With Bol Bol sitting out for rest, Bones Hyland was the Denver Nuggets’ lead option and he delivered with a 28-point, six-rebound, four-assist afternoon. It is a showing that should give fans in Denver plenty to be excited about.

The Mavericks were led by Eugene Omoruyi, who had 20 points and two rebounds.

The Nuggets will now be seeking their second straight win as they await their next and final opponent in Summer League before returning to the Mile High City.

Here are the takeaways:

Bones magic

Summer League results typically hold little weight. It is the progress of young players and the performances of NBA hopefuls that determine success for teams. The performance of Hyland should give the Nuggets front office and coaching staff plenty to be encouraged with.

The 20-year-old is a walking bucket and continues to show the well-advertised range that made him appealing for the Nuggets. It was his barrage from downtown, where he hit five, which got the Nuggets back into the game in the second half. Once he got going, it opened opportunities for others. He would feed Caleb Agada for a three that would cut the score to just 75-74. Hyland would then score a clutch bucket of his own with just under 18 seconds left, going into the lane to give Denver an 85-81 lead.

What was equally impressive was his hunger and desire to make an impact on both ends. He raced down the floor to block a shot midway in the third quarter. In overtime, he missed two free throws with less than four seconds remaining but responded quickly by skying for the offensive rebound. He wouldn’t miss when he got the line once again, icing the Nuggets four-point overtime win.

Zylan Cheatham impresses

Zylan Cheatham has been fighting for a chance in the NBA since being undrafted in 2019. He might have turned some heads Saturday afternoon.

Cheatham was relentless on the glass, grabbing 18 boards and making big play after big play throughout the contest. Whether it was a key put-back bucket or setting screens for Hyland to get better looks, he showed his passion from the opening tip. His biggest moment of the game came in overtime with the Nuggets up 85-83. The power forward collected a miss and powered in for a slam to give the team a 87-83 edge.

The 25-year-old scored 15 points on 6 of 11 shooting against Dallas.

Zeke steps up

Zeke Nnaji has played solid defense throughout the Summer League, but he has struggled with his shot. The sophomore had another inconsistent performance in the opening three quarters, but he wouldn’t quit and delivered in a big spot in the dying seconds of the fourth quarter.

Deonte Burton fed the Nuggets’ big man at the left side of the key and he calmly responded with a three that would give the team a 77-75 lead.

Nnaji would finish with 12 points and seven rebounds.

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