Warriors defeat Suns to win Las Vegas Summer League championship
LAS VEGAS — The Warriors are your first Las Vegas Summer League champions.
Golden State defeated Phoenix 91-77 at the Thomas & Mack Center on Monday night, completing a 7-0 run over the past 11 days.
“We’re just trying to continue to build, defend, compete, no matter who is in a Warrior uniform. It’s who we are,” Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. “It’s about the culture. It doesn’t matter who puts the uniform on, whether it’s summer league, regular season or playoffs. The mindset and the mission remain the same.”
A back-and-forth, high-intensity game was blown open in the fourth quarter, as Golden State went on a 13-0 run to turn a 68-66 deficit into an 81-68 lead. The stretch was highlighted by a Kent Bazemore steal, which eventually resulted in an and-one lay-up for Cameron Jones. On the Warriors’ next possession, Draymond Green knocked down a corner three to deliver the backbreaker.
Reserve guard Ian Clark, who went undrafted out of Belmont, led all scorers with 33 points and took home championship game MVP honors.
“Just a spectacular performance,” Jackson said. “He’s a quality guy and he carried us. It was great to see.”
Clark scored 19 points in the second quarter, and he connected on seven of his 10 three-point attempts on the night.
“My teammates kept looking for me,” Clark said. “I made sure I spaced the floor out, and let guys like Kent and Draymond do what they need to do, and if they needed me, I’d be ready.”
Bazemore, who was named to the All-NBA Summer League team earlier Monday, added 18 points, four rebounds and four assists. In seven games, Bazemore, who went undrafted out of Old Dominion and eventually caught on with the Warriors last year, averaged 18.4 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.1 rebounds.
“That’s the Kent we’ve been coaching,” Jackson said, making it clear that he wasn’t surprised by Bazemore’s strong week. “He’s a guy that came into this league not sure if he could play the point guard position. He’s worked his tail off every single day. He’s a big-time defender, can score the basketball, he’s a much-improved shooter. He separated himself in this summer league.”
Green finished with 12 points and eight rebounds.
“It’s great, with this being the first-ever summer league championship,” Green said. “To win it is great. At the end of the day, it’s not the NBA, but it’s something the NBA runs and there’s a lot of good talent out here.”
Archie Goodwin, a 2013 first-round pick, led the Suns with 18 points, but scored only two points in the second half.
The loss was the Suns’ first of summer league, as they finished 6-1.
Raptors center Jonas Valanciunas was officially named All-NBA Las Vegas Summer League MVP on Monday.
Valanciunas was The Point Forward’s pick for MVP earlier this week after he averaged 18.8 points and 10 rebounds for Toronto.
Joining Valanciunas on the All-NBA Las Vegas Summer League team were Bazemore, Bobcats guard Jeff Taylor, Bobcats forward Cody Zeller and Bucks forward John Henson.
Check out The Point Forward’s All-Summer League picks right here.