Monday, July 17, 2017 1:00 am
NBA Summer League
Swangian-led Blazers will play for title
LAS VEGAS – Homestead graduate Caleb Swanigan continued his strong summer league play with 15 points and 11 rebounds to lead Portland over Memphis 87-82 in the first semifinal in the Las Vegas Summer League on Sunday night.
Jarnell Stokes had 22 points and 15 rebounds for the Blazers, who trailed by 16 points in the first half before rallying to overtake the Grizzlies in the second half.
Stokes got his NBA start with the Grizzlies, playing 19 games for Memphis in 2014-15 after he was acquired in a draft-night trade with Utah. The Grizzlies traded Stokes to Miami the following season in the deal that brought Mario Chalmers to Memphis. He played two games with the Nuggets last season.
Pat Connaughton, from Notre Dame, did not play for Portland.
Wayne Selden led the Grizzlies with 13 points in 22 minutes.
Jorge Gutierrez added 16 points and eight assists, including a pair of nifty, behind-the-back passes for easy layups, for the Grizzlies.
In the other semifinal, the Los Angeles Lakers beat the Dallas Mavericks 108-98.
Lonzo Ball's bid for a third straight triple-double was short-circuited by a calf injury. The lead he helped the Los Angeles Lakers build while he was in the game proved to be just enough to top Dennis Smith Jr. and the Dallas Mavericks.
Ball had 16 points and 10 assists in 21 minutes before leaving with a strained right calf.
Kyle Kuzma scored 24 points, Matt Thomas had 20 and Vander Blue added 17 to help the Lakers reach the championship game. Former Indiana University standout Thomas Bryant had three points.
Smith scored 21 points on 7-for-13 shooting for the Mavericks, who trailed by as many as 26 points in the second half before mounting a huge comeback in the fourth quarter. Ex-IU guard Yogi Ferrell added 15 points and Dorian Finney-Smith and Brandon Ashley each had 13.
Ball made 5 of 7 shots and had a beautiful punch-ahead pass to Alex Caruso for a dunk that had thousands of Lakers fans out of their seats in the first half. He also had four rebounds, putting him well on his way to this third triple-double of summer league play before his right calf tightened up.
Ball tried to jog it off in a back hallway in the third quarter, but he was hobbling a little bit and was shut down for the remainder of the game. There was no immediate word on his availability for the championship game on Monday night.
The injury took a little of the edge away from an anticipated matchup of two rookie point guards who have excelled in Vegas. Ball was drafted second overall and Dennis Smith was taken ninth. Both have been cast as the future faces of their respective franchises, and both have made strong first impressions in summer league play.