The Utah Jazz Summer League returned to Vivint Smart Home Arena after a one-year absence on Monday night, and the home team provided plenty of thrills in a 92-76 win over the San Antonio Spurs in front of 11,758 fans.
Georges Niang had a team-high 17 points and Kelan Martin and Stanton Kidd each had 13. But it was second-year center Tony Bradley and 2018 first-round draft pick Grayson Allen who really made an impression. Bradley, who spent most of last season with the Salt Lake City Stars of the G-League, had 11 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks, and Allen had 11 points, eight rebounds and seven assists mere hours after signing his rookie contract with the Jazz.
The Jazz (1-0 in summer league) trailed just once in the game after San Antonio’s Derrick White hit a 3-pointer with 2:02 left in the first quarter to put the Spurs (0-1) up 17-14. After a timeout, Utah closed the quarter on a 9-0 run and then scored the first nine points of the second period to take a 32-17 lead. The lead never dipped below double-digits after that, with Utah leading by as many as 30 points.
Allen, who played just over 22 minutes in the contest, admitted to having a few butterflies before his first summer-league game, and said there is plenty of room for improvement.
“I think the nerves were definitely there — kind of the nerves, anxiousness, excitement — which leads to speeding up and going a little bit too fast on some stuff where you should just slow down and make a good read,” Allen said. “I felt pretty comfortable in the offense, felt comfortable finding guys and got some open looks — some I should have knocked down and some I should have made a different read on. Overall, I thought it went well and I was comfortable in the offense and on the court.”
Bradley, in his second go-round with the Jazz’s summer-league squad, said his season in the G-League helped prepare him.
“My body’s different,” Bradley said. “I put on some muscle and got a little leaner — lost some body fat since last year.”
Spurs coach Will Hardy lamented his team’s lack of aggression on defense. While San Antonio outscored the Jazz 21-13 in the fourth quarter, Hardy would have liked to see that effort earlier in the game.
“Offensively, I’m not as concerned,” Hardy said. “It’s the first game of summer league and there’s going to be some miscommunication and some missed shots, but the defense is where we’re going to have to start. I thought the fourth quarter was good, so we have that to build on for (Tuesday).”
The Jazz faced the Memphis Grizzlies in their second game of the summer on Tuesday night, while San Antonio met the Atlanta Hawks.
Memphis 103, Atlanta 88
Jaren Jackson Jr. had a game-high 29 points, Kobi Simmons poured in 21 and the Grizzlies beat the Hawks in the opening game of the Utah Jazz Summer League on Monday.
Jackson, a rookie from Michigan State, went 8-for-13 from 3-point range in the win as the Grizzlies (1-0) never trailed.
Tyler Dorsey led Atlanta (0-1) with 18 points. Trae Young, a 2018 first-round draft pick from Oklahoma, had 16 points for the Hawks.