Tatum takes over Sin City, Celtics beat Lakers
LAS VEGAS — Whether it’s Salt Lake City or Sin City, Jayson Tatum is owning the NBA’s summer league.
The No. 3 overall pick had 27 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Boston Celtics to an 86-81 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers on Saturday night.
Tatum, the swingman from Duke that Boston traded out of the No. 1 overall spot to grab, has shown a versatility and maturity in his game from the moment he first stepped on the floor. He starred in the Celtics’ trip through the Utah summer league and picked up right where he left off in front of a pro-Lakers crowd in Las Vegas.
“He reminds me of Paul Pierce,” Celtics summer league coach Walter McCarty said.
There is not much higher praise than that.
Tatum made 9 of 19 shots, including his only 3-pointer in a showdown with No. 2 overall pick Lonzo Ball.
“It took me back to college,” Tatum said with a smile. “I felt like I was playing North Carolina.”
A look at some other notable action in Las Vegas on Saturday:
After shooting 2 for 15 in his debut Friday night, Ball looked much more comfortable against the Celtics. He had a triple-double in 34 minutes with 11 points, 11 rebounds and 11 assists in 34 minutes. He made 5 of 13 shots and 1 of 5 from deep.
Kyle Kuzma shined for the Lakers with 31 points and five 3-pointers. He also grabbed nine rebounds.
Portland Trail Blazers rookie Caleb Swanigan had 16 points and 13 rebounds in a 72-63 win over Utah.
The burly forward from Purdue was drafted with the 26th pick in the first round, and he made his presence felt in his opening game with his strength and nimble feet.
“He’s like a locomotive,” teammate Zach Collins said.
Lakers forward Brandon Ingram had to leave the team’s first summer league game Friday night because of cramping. It came at the end of a terrific performance in which he scored 26 points, more than enough for the Lakers to rule him out for the rest of the week.
The Memphis Grizzlies also said rookie forward Ivan Rabb will miss the first three games of play while he recovers from a sprained left ankle. The Grizzlies will re-evaluate him after the first three games.
The Chicago Bulls have high hopes for rookie Lauri Markkanen. The 7-foot sharpshooter from Arizona was taken with the seventh overall pick, one of the components of a package the Bulls acquired from Minnesota in a trade that sent Jimmy Butler to the Timberwolves.
But Markkanen already received his “welcome to the league” moment when the jersey he was given for the game on Saturday misspelled his name. The Finn’s No. 24 jersey read “Markkenan” on the back.
That didn’t stop him from scoring 14 points and grabbing eight rebounds in a 91-75 loss to Dallas.
“I didn’t know who to tell,” Markkanen told Chicago reporters after the game. “I just went out there and guys noticed it.”