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July 28, 2014

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NBA Day 3: Clippers shelve Gordon for Summer League

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Memphis Grizzlies' O.J. Mayo moves the ball down the court during NBA Summer League Basketball in Las Vegas on Sunday at UNLV's COX Pavilion. The Grizzlies suffered their first setback in an 85-76 loss to the Lakers. Mayo did score a team-best 15 points.

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IF YOU GO

What: 2008 NBA Summer League presented by EA Sports

Where: Cox Pavilion and Thomas & Mack Center

When: Friday through July 20. Minimum of four games each day.

Teams: Charlotte Bobcats, Cleveland Cavaliers, Dallas Mavericks, Denver Nuggets, Detroit Pistons, Golden State Warriors, Houston Rockets, L.A. Clippers, L.A. Lakers, Memphis Grizzlies, Milwaukee Bucks, Minnesota Timberwolves, New Orleans Hornets, New York Knicks, Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns, Portland Trail Blazers, Sacramento Kings, San Antonio Spurs, Toronto Raptors, Washington Wizards.

Tickets: General admission daily passes begin at $20; UNLVtickets.com; 739-3267

The big news out of Summer League action on Sunday was that Los Angeles Clippers first-round pick Eric Gordon is done for the session because of an injured hamstring.

"It was hurting bad. They said it was a real bad pull," said Gordon, who strained his left hamstring in L.A's loss to the Charlotte Bobcats on Saturday. "They told it's nothing too serious, probably be out a week or and that I should just focus on getting ready for training camp."

The Clippers definitely didn't look like the same team without Gordon Sunday as a loaded Detroit Pistons squad took a 75-66 victory. Detroit was led by former UCLA standout Arron Afflalo's game-high 25 points. L.A.'s second-round pick this year, DeAndre Jordan, played his best game so far. He scored a team-best 15 points on 5-of-6 shooting and grabbed 10 rebounds.

Gordon, the seventh overall pick out of Indiana, said he was disappointed that his summer seasoning ended so soon.

"I definitely wanted to keep on playing, I am definitely disappointed that I only got to play two games," he said. "It was fun playing out here and I learned the NBA's a lot more faster paced than college.

Even though he played just two games, Gordon showed spurts of what made him such a standout guard for the Hoosiers. Despite shaky shooting (Gordon made just nine of the 28 shots he took in two games), Gordon used his speed and size to get to the basket often (he knocked down 16 of 21 free throws). Gordon scored 23 points to help lead the Clips to a victory over Dallas in L.A.'s first game on Friday.

Grizzlies Mauled — Memphis, which cruised to easy victories in its first two games of the Summer League, was throttled by the Los Angeles Lakers Sunday night.

Even star O.J. Mayo (this year's third overall pick) struggled. While Mayo did score a team-best 15 points in Memphis' 85-76 setback, he missed seven of his 13 shots and committed six turnovers. Fellow first-round pick Darrell Arthur was even worse. He scored just three points on 1-of-7 shooting, grabbed a lone rebound and had nine fouls.

L.A. was led by Coby Karl (son of Denver coach George Karl), who scored 16 points and spent the majority of the night guarding Mayo. A funny moment occurred in the second half. Karl drilled a shot and started back up the court, but the public address announcer's mind must of been fixated on another Laker as he screamed out "Koobbbee Bryant".

No doubt a great number of fans filling the Cox Pavilion's stands came to watch Mayo perform, but the standout from USC downplayed his own drawing power Sunday night.

"They just come to enjoy the Summer League," said a straight-faced Mayo. "There's not an NBA team in Vegas, so any time you bring NBA talent and teams to this city, there's gonna be a lot of excitement."

Locals Undefeated — C.J. Watson, a Bishop Gorman grad and former UNLV star Louis Amundson have helped Golden State to a 2-0 start in Summer League play with a 95-86 victory over Dallas. Watson tallied 14 points, including seven free throws. Amundson scored nine and grabbed five rebounds.

New Orleans 77, Charlotte 75 — New Orleans pulled out a win in the closest contest so far when guard Bobby Brown hit the game-winner with 30 seconds left. The former Cal-State Fullerton product tallied a game-high 20 points. Rookie D.J. Augustin led Charlotte with 15 points, but contributed just two assists for the second day in a row. Former UNLV player Dalron Johnson scored a single point in seven minutes of action for New Orleans.

Seen in the Stands —There were a lot of high-profile players and even a few celebrities who took in the first weekend of the Summer League. Here's a sampling of those inside the COX Pavilion: Ron Artest (Sacramento Kings); Stacey Augmon (UNLV stud); Elgin Baylor (Hall of Famer and Clippers exec.); Larry Brown (new Charlotte Bobcats coach); Marcus Camby (Denver Nuggets center); Mo Cheeks (former 76ers standout and Philadelphia's current coach); Adrian Dantley (recent Hall of Fame electee); Joe Dumars (legendary Detroit Piston); Floyd Mayweather (boxing champ); Kevin O'Neill (Arizona's coach last season); Byron Russell (former Utah Jazz guard who Michael Jordan hit his legendary shot in the 1998 NBA Finals over); Kelvin Sampson (former Oklahoma and Indiana coach); Byron Scott (former Laker and New Orleans head coach); Bill Simmons (writer for ESPN); Charlie Spoonhour (former UNLV coach); Reggie Theus (former UNLV standout and current Sacramento Kings coach).

Notes — Seven of the 21 NBA teams participating during the 10-day event will make their debuts on Monday. The Cavaliers, Knicks, Rockets, Suns, Spurs, Trail Blazers and Wizards all tip-off as the Summer League expands into the Thomas & Mack Center Monday night. ... Kevin Love — the fifth overall pick by Memphis in this year's draft, who was then dealt to Minnesota for Mayo — will play his first pro game Monday night when Minnesota squares off against Dallas at 7 p.m. in the Cox Pavilion. ... Two other lottery picks, Danilo Gallinari (picked sixth by New York) and Jerryd Bayless (drafted 11th by Indiana and then traded to Portland) will also make their Summer League debuts on Monday. The Knicks take on Cleveland in the day's first game at 1 p.m., while Portland hosts Washington at 5 p.m. Both games are in Thomas & Mack Center. ... On Friday a record crowd of 4,084 took in the four-game session.

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