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October 21, 2014

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NBA Day 8: Young misses key shot for Wizards

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The hands-down winner of our informal and unofficial week-long jersey contest at the NBA Summer League. Coronado High graduate Jules Cruz, 17, wears Wilt Chamberlain's replica jersey from Overbrook High.

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The back of the stellar Overbrook High jersey that Jules Cruz wore to Friday's NBA Summer League at UNLV.

Nick Young kept the heat on Friday against Minnesota in the NBA Summer League.

The third-year guard out of USC who wears No. 1 on his Washington Wizards uniform had 21 points midway through the third quarter inside the Cox Pavilion.

The lead see-sawed back and forth between the two teams, and Minnesota led, 60-57, after three quarters.

A 6-foot-6 swingman, Young has been looking like a guy who came into the summer with 157 NBA games on his resumé.

The 16th overall pick by the Wizards in the 2007 draft entered the game as the second-best scorer, at 26.5 points, in the Summer League.

However, Young went scoreless in the fourth quarter. With Washington trailing, 85-82, he missed a 3-point shot from the right side with 12.3 seconds left that would have tied the game. Minnesota won, 89-82. Both teams are 1-2.

Check out this story for a look at Young’s background.

Roberson gets Bullish

7:21 p.m.

Anthony Roberson poured in a game-high 24 points in Chicago's 80-74 victory over Oklahoma City in the Thomas & Mack Center to drop the Thunder to 0-4.

James Johnson (8 points, 7 assists, 10 rebounds) and James Augustine (9 points, 10 boards) had solid games to give the Bulls their first summer win in three games. Roberson averaged 5.5 points in those first two games.

Former Arizona State star James Harden had 20 points for Oklahoma City.

Thompson gets punk'd on New Year's Eve

5:13 p.m.

Like he vowed to this summer, Sacramento’s Jason Thompson, a second-year forward out of Rider, dominated the action Friday against New York.

After three quarters inside Cox, Thompson had 19 points as the Kings were beating the Knicks, 64-53. In the fourth quarter, Thompson boosted that to 23 points as Sacramento pulled away by 16.

The Kings won, 84-71, and Thompson's 23 led everyone. He also had 10 rebounds, and he is aiming to average a double-double for Sacramento in 2009-10.

Thompson had been disappointed with his lackluster showing in Las Vegas, but he shaped up his game for the Knicks.

He told the Sacramento Bee he had been in a funk. "I'm taking it real hard," he said. "I'm frustrated. To me, it's unacceptable."

This also gives us a great opportunity to look at a funny New Year’s Eve scene from Thompson’s rookie campaign with the Kings.

Hope you like popcorn.

Sternberg makes p.a. debut

4:32 p.m.

We are eagerly anticipating the debut of Brian Sternberg, who works in marketing for UNLV athletics, for the final two games at Cox. The current guy is comically over-the-top, so Sternberg promises to be an improvement.

We’ll occasionally update his performance.

Break a leg (er, vocal cord?) Brian.

UPDATE: Sternberg did a fine job in his first game. He was a man of few words. Simple. Straight-forward. He said he goofed on a couple of names, but we missed those. "I'm trying," he said.

Remember that kid who brought you those Cokes?

3:57 p.m.

Before Detroit picked Swedish national forward Jonas Jerebko second in the draft last month, Jerebko worked out for Pitstons GM Joe Dumars in Auburn Hills, Mich.

After the workout, Jerebko looked at Dumars.

”You don’t remember me, do you?” Jerebko said, according to the Detroit News.

Dumars, the story continued, wracked his brain trying to remember where he might have met this 22-year-old kid from Sweden. Then Jerebko reminded him about the 2001 Euroleague Championship, which was held in Sweden.

"I remember there was this little kid maybe 12, 13 years old who kept running up and sitting with me, bringing me stat sheets, bringing me cokes and popcorn," Dumars told the News.

"He was telling me which guys could play and which guys couldn't play. I basically adopted him for two days and at the end he says to me, 'One day I want to play in the NBA.' And I am like, 'Sure, OK.’ ”

There Jerebko was, eight years later, drafted by the Pistons in the second round.

"He said to me in my office, 'Remember the kid from the Euro championships?' And I said, 'Do you know that kid?' " Dumars said. "And he said, 'I am that kid.' I was like, you've got to be kidding me.”

Jerebko, who averaged 10.8 rebounds and 6.5 rebounds in Detroit's first four games, went for 19 points and 5 rebounds to help the Pistons end the Summer League at 4-1 with a 92-86 victory over Cleveland (1-4).

Austin Daye led the Pistons with 20 points at Cox Pavilion. Reserves Jawad Williams (15 points) and Robert Hite (14 points) led the Cavaliers, who had 8 assists and 21 turnovers.

Babysitter's nightmare

3:03 p.m.

So you like to hear the screeching and howling of a couple hundred kids? Cox was the place for you from 1-3 p.m. The NBA should be taking advantage and selling earplugs bearing the logos of all of its teams. Exedrin, anyone?

Mercifully, the tykes departed before the second game.

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Former UNLV guard Wink Adams sits, again, during the first half of the New York Knicks' game against Sacramento on Friday afternoon at the NBA Summer League at Cox Pavilion. He didn't play in New York's first game and only logged seven minutes in its second.

Wink sits entire first half

3:57 p.m.

Once again, Wink Adams didn’t get off the New York bench in the first half Friday afternoon at Cox Pavilion.

The Knicks are up, 41-40, on the Sacramento Kings, and the former UNLV guard hasn’t budged from his seat. He didn’t play in New York’s first Summer League game and logged only seven minutes in its second game.

When asked about Adams the other day, Knicks coach Mike D'Antoni admitted he didn't know anything about the Houston native. Adams didn't leave the bench in the second half, either.

Morris Almond and Jordan Hill have scored eight points apiece for the Knicks, and Tyreke Evans has 10 points for Sacramento.

Harrison walks after second technical

2:27 p.m.

The hoops career of David Harrison took another turn Friday afternoon when he was hit with his second technical foul in the third quarter of Cleveland’s game against Detroit.

On both T’s, Harrison kept pressing verbal issues with officials. At least once, he said the magic word that forces refs to hit their left palm with their right hand.

Harrison, who had 9 points and 3 rebounds, slinked to the bench after the second T. He put his head in his hands. He looked up, shook his head and put his head back in his hands.

Told he had to leave the arena, he shook his head again, slowly rose, walked behind the scorer’s table and, with a security escort, departed to the Cavs’ makeshift locker room in a corner of the Cox Pavilion.

Harrison, who turns 27 next month, played at Colorado and was drafted at the end of the first round in 2004 by the Indiana Pacers.

Over four seasons, he made $4.4 million. He played for the Beijing Ducks last season after his Pacers career fizzled, which probably started with a suspension for marijuana.

Harrison, who has admitted to seeing a therapist and is given to introspection, sort of apologized for his actions on an Indianapolis radio show. He rambled a bit and, well, here’s some of the interview:

”I made a mistake and if that mistake costs me my career, then that's where we need to look. Look at what I did and look at what I lost. You know what I'm saying. Does marijuana, is it that bad? That's the question I really want people to ask themselves sometimes.

”Following rules blindly, doesn't mean you're right just by following those rules. There needs to be a just rule. I mean, a long time ago George Washington sat around, didn't want to pay taxes to the crown.

”There's other things going on, but the rudimentary part of our American revolution was we didn't want to pay taxes. And we broke that rule and we have America today. You know, if we would've lost that war, George Washington would be Benedict Arnold.

"You know, it's whoever wins, you get the praise. Nicotine won, the tobacco industry won. That's the thing, they wouldn't want marijuana to be legal. It causes less cancer and actually, I've read studies where in cities with very bad air pollution like in Indiana, it helps protect you from lung cancer.”

His ejection Friday probably didn’t endear him to the Cleveland Cavaliers’ brass.

Sweet jersey

5:09 p.m.

Jules Cruz walked out of the Cox Pavilion to get some refreshments Friday afternoon and walked away with the best jersey of the week.

Our unofficial and random week-long contest ended the moment we saw the Coronado High graduate traipse around in his Wilt Chamberlain replica jersey from Overbrook High.

Cruz’s prize? Some Internet “ink” here. The 17-year-old graduated from Coronado early and is studying journalism at Cal State Fullerton.

Other top jerseys have included the kid with the No. 11 Steve Nash Santa Clara jersey, the orange Phoenix Suns No. 3 (Rex Chapman) and blue Detroit Pistons No. 22 (Tayshaun Prince). We'd be doing an old-school disservice if we didn't mention the obscure red No. 77 Washington Bullets jersey of George Muresan that we spotted.

There have been some provocative ones, too, like the lad who wore the black No. 7 jersey of former Atlanta Falcons quarterback Michael Vick and the blue No. 15 Golden State jersey of former Warrior Latrell Sprewell.

But nothing, at least this week, beats Wilt the Stilt's prep attire.

Plaisted and other MWC alums Europe-bound?

12:45 p.m.

After eight days, are you tired of the NBA Summer League? Good, we aren’t either.

Onto today’s action.

The early game, once again, at the Cox Pavilion features the Detroit Pistons (3-1) and former BYU center Trent Plaisted. This is the third time that Detroit, which plays Cleveland, has been the tip-off game of the day.

Plaisted has started three of the Pistons’ four games. He’s averaging 3.8 points, shooting 5-for-14 from the field, and 3.3 rebounds.

Have passport, will travel. Plaisted briefly played for an Italian team last season before he returned to the States for surgery. We’re thinking he’s destined to cross the pond again this season to continue his career.

However, that is no knock against him or the other Mountain West Conference products – Wink Adams, Luke Nevill, Lorrenzo Wade, Kyle Spain and Lee Cummard – who likely will play in Europe, or another foreign land, next season.

There are far worse scenarios than getting paid six figures, and having the club pay for your housing and supplying you a vehicle, to play the game you love.

The other former MWC players' stats:

Adams (one game for Knicks), 0-1 from the field, 2 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 personal fouls.

Cummard (one game for Suns), 0-1 from the field, 1 rebound, 1 personal foul.

Spain (two games, one start for Wizards), 3-9 from the field, 5 personal fouls, 3 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 turnover, 3.5 ppg.

Nevill (three games for Hornets), 2-5 from the field, 1 rebound, 1 assist, 5 personal fouls, 2 turnovers.

Wade (two games for Bucks), 3-5 from the field, 2 rebounds.

Romel Beck (three games, one start for Spurs), 12-25 from the field, 7 rebounds, 4 turnovers, 2 steals, 11.0 ppg.

In other action today, the Sacramento Kings (0-4) will try to get at least one summer victory, against New York (and maybe Adams) at 3 p.m. inside Cox.

Memphis (3-0) and outstanding point man Marcus Williams (9 apg, third in the league) battle Phoenix (1-1) at 5, and the upstart D-League Select squad (2-0) plays Denver (1-1) at 7.

At the Thomas & Mack Center, Oklahoma City (0-3) plays Chicago (0-2) at 5:30 and it’s Portland (0-2) vs. San Antonio (3-0) at 7:30.

In the stats, new Minnesota guard Jonny Flynn, the Syracuse spitfire, is tied with the Knicks’ Toney Douglas atop the assists chart, with 10.5 a game.

Anthony Randolph of Golden State has a slim lead over Nick Young of Washington in scoring, respectively, at 26.8 points to 26.5 points.

But our new favorite player, Anthony Morrow of the Warrios, is creeping up on that list. His summer-league-record 47 points Thursday shot his average up to third place at 24.7.

Again, we’ll report to you throughout the day. Have fun. Oh, and happy Friday.

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