For the full 40 minutes, 2014 first-round pick Shabazz Napier was never the best player on the floor. Truth be told, Napier wasn’t even the best guard on his team–that distinction would go to Tyler Johnson.
The real stars of the match all belonged to the Los Angeles Clippers.
Combined for 61 points, Delonte West, Amath M’Baye, and Lorenzo Brown were the catalysts behind the Clippers’ opening victory. M’Baye and West scored the teams first 10 points and 10 of the opening 18. M’Baye would end the half with 20 points out of 47 as Brown and West would control the floor. But through each flurry of points, the Clippers were unable to breakaway on the scoreboard, with Miami keeping in close.
With a little over four minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Clippers would lead 64-53 as the Heat’s chances of competing would dwindle. Shabazz Napier, the team’s assumed best player, had done little to impact the game thus far and the second best player, James Ennis, failed to return to the game following halftime, forcing the Heat in a bad position. At least until the likes of James Nunnaly and Tyler Honeycutt got things going–scored the last 14 points in the third, giving the Heat a four-point lead going into the fourth quarter.
A Shabazz Napier short burst (Scored 6 of his 8 points in the fourth) would give the Miami Heat hope, but a stellar fourth quarter from Lorenzo Brown (scored 16 of his 22 points in the fourth and 16 of the last 20) would secure the victory for Los Angeles.
Player of the Game
If you’ve never heard of him, you may know of his name now. Amath M’Baye, former Oklahoma forward, put on a show in Las Vegas. From beginning to end, M’Baye was responsible for carrying the Clippers’ offense, scoring 27 (9-of-15 shooting) of the teams 91 points. In each way you wanted it, M’Baye delivered. He was knocking down jump shots from mid-range, attacking the paint, hitting three-point shots (2-4 3PM), sinking his free-throws (7-8 FTM).
And on top of his consistent play, Amath M’Baye provided the best non-lottery highlights you would have seen yesterday which included these two dazzling highlight plays, one including a dribble exhibition from Delonte West and the other, an awesome alley-oop in which M’Baye nearly cleared the rim.
If there was ever a chance for M’Baye to get his first NBA opportunity, tonight will be the cause behind that decision: he looked very much like a NBA wing in last night’s matchup.
- Both Amath M’Baye (20.5, 7th) and Lorenzo Brown (19.5, 9th) are top ten in points per game during the Las Vegas Summer League.
- While Jon Brockman is making little noise on the offensive side of the ball, he’s making his presence felt on the boards, ranking 13th in rebounds per game in LVSL.
- Brown’s 6 assists per game are 3rd most in LVSL so far.
- Of Las Vegas’ top scorer’s, only Justin Hamilton (75%) is shooting a higher field-goal percentage than Amath M’Baye (60%).
July 15 – Los Angeles Clippers (1-1) at Houston Rockets (0-2) @ 6:00 P.M. ET (3:00 PT)