Oklahoma City Thunder forward Chet Holmgren took a positive step on his surgically repaired right foot as he continued his comeback to the court in his team’s victory over the Dallas Mavericks.
The 21-year-old had been the No. 2 pick in the 2022 Draft but missed the entirety of what would have been his debut season after sustaining a Lisfranc injury in his right foot last summer.
The 7-foot-1 Holmgren returned when the Thunder played three games in the Salt Lake City Summer League before heading to Las Vegas, finishing with 15 points, nine rebounds and four blocks Monday in a victory over Utah.
On Saturday, he took another step forward on his journey to a full return and NBA regular season debut, finishing with 16 points and 10 rebounds Saturday, helping the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Dallas Mavericks 91-80 in their NBA Summer League opener.
The Thunder surprisingly just missed the playoffs without him and have plenty of young talent. They added to it with the addition of No. 10 pick Cason Wallace, a guard from Kentucky who made six 3-pointers and scored 20 points against the team that drafted him and traded his rights to Oklahoma City.
Thunder forward Chet Holmgren took a positive step on his surgically repaired right foot
The 2022 No. 2 pick finished with 16 points and 10 rebounds against the Mavericks Saturday
Holmgren was 5 for 10 from the field in 30 minutes and blocked two shots.
Jaden Hardy scored 24 points for the Mavericks. Center Dereck Lively II, the No. 12 pick who was swapped in the trade for Wallace, had four points and five rebounds.
The eight-game schedule Saturday began with Miami, which is hoping to be watching some players who will be teaming with Damian Lillard next season, beating Boston 99-88. Lillard has told the Portland Trail Blazers he wants to be traded and the All-Star’s preference is to be dealt to the Eastern Conference champions.
Play in Las Vegas began Friday with an eventful opening night, featuring No. 1 pick Victor Wembanyama´s debut with the San Antonio Spurs and Houston´s buzzer-beating victory over Portland a game in which No. 3 pick Scoot Henderson of the Trail Blazers and No. 4 pick Amen Thompson of Houston left with injuries.
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PISTONS 89, MAGIC 78
No. 5 pick in the 2023 Draft Ausar Thompson made his debut for the Detroit Pistons in their 89-78 win over the Orlando Magic Saturday, one day after his twin brother Amen exited his own debut through injury.
Jalen Duren had 17 points and eight rebounds, while James Wiseman added 16 points, 11 rebounds and two blocks for Detroit.
Jaden Ivey shot just 5 of 19 from the field but finished with 14 points, five rebounds, five steals and four assists for the Pistons (1-0).
Rookie Thompson had seven points, on 1-of-4 shooting, with nine rebounds, three assists, three blocks and a steal.
Kevon Harris scored 21 points for Orlando (0-1) and No. 6 pick Anthony Black added 17 points, on 7-of-10 shooting, with five rebounds, five assists and three steals. Caleb Houstan added 12 points.
No. 5 pick in the 2023 Draft Ausar Thompson (left) made his debut for the Detroit Pistons
PACERS 91, WIZARDS 83
Victor Wembanyama’s former Mets teammate Bilal Coulibaly made his debut for the Washington Wizards after his fellow Frenchman’s underwhelming display on Friday.
Coulibaly, who was selected No. 7 overall in last month´s draft and turns 19 later this month, scored nine points on 4-of-13 shooting.
Bennedict Mathurin scored 27 points and Isaiah Jackson shot 10 of 12 from the field and had 21 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks to lead Indiana.
Andrew Nembhard had 14 points and eight assists for the Pacers (1-0) and No. 8 pick Jarace Walker added eight points on just 3-of-13 shooting, but finished with 13 rebounds, five assists, three steals and three blocks.
Johnny Davis led Washington (0-1) with 17 points and Patrick Baldwin Jr. scored 13. Xavier Cooks and Ryan Rollins each added 11 points.
Victor Wembanyama’s former Mets teammate Bilal Coulibaly made his debut for the Wizards
HEAT 99, CELTICS 88
Orlando Robinson Jr. scored 36 points on 13-of-22 shooting, including 3 of 4 from 3-point range, and grabbed 11 rebounds for Miami.
Dru Smith added 16 points and seven assists for the Heat (1-0). Nikola Jovic, a first-round pick by Miami in the 2022 draft, had 14 points, six rebounds, three assists, two steals and a block. Drew Peterson hit three 3-pointers and finished with 13 points and Jamal Cain scored 10.
Jordan Walsh hit four 3s and led Boston (0-1) with 18 points and Jay Scrubb scored 17. J.D. Davison added 14 points and 11 assists, Justin Bean had 13 points and Justin Champagnie grabbed 11 rebounds to go with seven points.
Orlando Robinson Jr. scored 36 points and grabbed 11 rebounds for the Miami Heat
76ERS 110, KNICKS 100
Jaden Springer led seven Philadelphia players in double figures with 23 points and Javonte Smart added 17 points, five rebounds and five assists.
DJ Steward and Ricky Council IV added 14 points apiece and Terquavion Smith and Filip Petrusev each scored 13 for the 76ers (1-0). Smith also had five assists, three steals and three blocks. Greg Brown III scored 11 points.
DaQuan Jeffries led New York (0-1) with 20 points. Michael Foster Jr. and Jaylen Martin each added 12.
Javonte Smart added 17 points, five rebounds and five assists for the Philadelphia 76ers
GRIZZLIES 89, BULLS 80
Kenneth Lofton Jr. scored 23 points on 8-of-14 shooting, 2 of 3 from behind the arc, and Jake LaRavia added 15 points for Memphis.
Jacob Gilyard went 4 of 4 from the field, including three 3-pointers, and finished with 11 points and eight assists for the Grizzlies (1-0).
Javon Freeman-Liberty led Chicago (1-1) with 24 points, including four 3s, and five assists. Dalen Terry scored 17 points on 5-of-21 shooting, Nate Darling added 10 points and Adama Sanogo grabbed 12 rebounds to go with his eight points.
Kenneth Lofton Jr. (L) scored 23 points on 8-of-14 shooting, 2 of 3 from behind the arc
BUCKS 84, SUNS 75
MarJon Beauchamp scored 20 points and Tyler Cook scored 14 on 7-of-8 shooting to lead Milwaukee.
Tacko Fall had 10 points, seven rebounds and three blocks for Milwaukee (2-0) and Chris Livingston also scored 10 points. Andre Jackson Jr. had 11 rebounds to go with six points.
Toumani Camara led Phoenix (0-1) with 20 points and eight rebounds and undrafted rookie Trey Jemison had 10 points, seven rebounds and two blocks. Jordan Goodwin, who left the game in the third quarter due to left knee soreness and did not return, scored 12 points.
MarJon Beauchamp scored 20 points to lead Milwaukee in its 84-75 win over the Suns
JAZZ 104, CLIPPERS 99
Keyonte George, the No. 16 overall selection in last month´s draft, had 33 points and 10 rebounds, while Ochai Agbaji had 21 points and nine rebounds to lead Utah (1-0).
George made 12 of 24 from the field, including six 3-pointers, and Agbaji added five assists and two blocks. Micah Potter scored 17 points and grabbed eight rebounds and Johnny Juzang scored 13 points.
Xavier Moon hit six 3-pointers and led Los Angeles (0-1) with 26 points. Jason Preston had 15 points and 10 assists and Moussa Diabate scored 11 points and grabbed 12 rebounds. Kobe Brown finished with 11 points and nine rebounds and Jordan Miller scored 12 points.
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