NBA Summer League Tournament First Round: No. 26 Heat 110, No. 7 Pelicans 106

by Jim Eichenhofer
@Jim_Eichenhofer

Heat advance to Round of 16

LAS VEGAS – New Orleans had rolled to a 26-point victory over Miami five days earlier and entered Thursday’s matchup as a “favorite” on paper, seeded 19 spots higher. Instead of repeating their one-sided beating of the Heat, however, the Pelicans dropped a hard-fought opener of the single-elimination bracket.

Miami outlasted New Orleans in a high-scoring affair, advancing to the next round and a matchup with Boston. The Pelicans will conclude their participation in summer league Friday in a consolation round game vs. the Knicks and New Orleans-area product Mitchell Robinson, a second-round draft pick by New York.

IT WAS OVER WHEN…

Miami’s Daryl Macon sank two free throws with 1.1 seconds left, giving the Heat a two-possession margin. New Orleans used its last timeout, but needed a four-point play made impossible by Miami not contesting a shot.

PELICANS PLAYER UPDATES

Cheick Diallo put together a 20-10 game, finishing with 28 points and 13 rebounds. The two-year NBA veteran forward was active on the offensive glass, pulling down five caroms. He was very efficient offensively, going 9/12 from the field and 10/10 at the foul line. …

After the buzzer, it was reported by Shams Charania that guard Trevon Bluiett has signed a two-way contract for 2018-19 with the Pelicans. The Xavier (Ohio) product built his case for a contract early in summer league by scoring 24 and 26 points in the initial two games. In Round 1 vs. Miami, he had 10 points on 4/10 shooting. He is 15/28 from three-point range through four games in Las Vegas. …

Second-round pick Tony Carr had perhaps his best passing game in the summer league so far, handing out five assists. He hasn’t been a high-volume shooter in any game, this time going 2/4 from the floor and scoring seven points. …

A 10-day contract signee with the Pelicans during the regular season, Walter Lemon Jr. registered 18 points, five rebounds and six assists.

QUOTES TO NOTE

“I thought we lost who we were (identity-wise) from our first two games. We really locked in defensively early on in the (league). We want to play fast, but we want to play from our defense to our offense. I thought we lost that.” – Pelicans summer head coach Kevin Hanson on the difference between weekend wins over Toronto and Miami, and recent weekday losses to Detroit and Miami

“He played with great energy these last couple games. But overall, I thought we lost our energy (as a team), especially at the start of games. Almost the whole (league) we had bad starts that put us in a hole each game. We haven’t been able to dig out of it in the last two.” – Hanson on importance of energy for Diallo and the rest of the summer squad