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Mon. Jul 22nd, 2024

OKC Thunder fends off Memphis Grizzlies in NBA Summer League thriller

By meerna Jul11,2024
OKC Thunder fends off Memphis Grizzlies in NBA Summer League thriller

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The Oklahoma City Thunder defeated the Memphis Grizzlies 80-77 on Wednesday to conclude their run in the Salt Lake City Summer League.

OKC finished the season 2-1. The team’s next target is the Las Vegas Summer League, which begins Saturday at 7:30 p.m. with a match against Toronto.

Here are the conclusions from the game:

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Trey Jemison looked like a gladiator in a modern Coliseum.

His weapon of choice was his elbows, which the 6-10 center swung wildly to create space in the three-second zone midway through the first quarter. Jemison then rose to dunk the ball one-handed over Kylor Kelley, then flexed his muscles in his opponent’s face.

It was a dominant display of strength, but Kelley also had fighting spirit.

Jemison collected the ball low on Memphis’ next possession and again leaned into Kelley’s body before attempting a dunk. Kelley met him at the rim this time, blocking him, and both players were assessed a technical foul after exchanging words.

Jemison and Kelley continued to battle throughout the night. Jemison finished with 20 points and seven rebounds, while Kelley had six points, five rebounds and two blocks.

Ajay Mitchell keeps you safe while navigating the road.

The rookie guard looked both ways as he pushed the ball upfield on a late second-quarter drive, with KJ Williams on his left and Adam Flagler on his right.

There were a pair of defenders in front of Mitchell, but the crafty defender weaved in and out of the line to get past them before he could connect on the layup.

Mitchell didn’t pick up the pace Wednesday as he methodically dissected Memphis’ defense. The 38th overall pick in the 2024 NBA Draft finished with a game-high 21 points and five rebounds.

Mitchell continues to show impressive levels of poise in his Summer League game. The 22-year-old defenseman doesn’t look like a rookie and is clearly comfortable at the wheel of OKC’s offense.

Ousmane Dieng had so many ups and downs on Wednesday that he matched the Salt Lake City mountain range, but he eventually stood on the summit.

After scoring just four points in the first half and committing five turnovers, the 21-year-old forward came back into the game in the second half.

Mitchell passed the ball to Dieng in the opening minute of the third quarter, and he confidently hit an open three from the corner, his first triple of the night in four attempts.

Dieng continued to show flashes of the potential that led OKC to select him with the 11th overall pick in the 2022 NBA Draft. The 6-9 forward either scored or assisted on 16 of the Thunder’s final 18 points, helping the team escape with a narrow victory.

Dieng finished with 17 points, eight assists, four blocks and six turnovers. He shot 7 of 20 from the field (3 of 10 from deep).

“I just try to make the right play,” Dieng said. “I don’t think it was my best play, but I just tried to make the right play at the right time. That’s what I did.”

Dieng is still far from being an outstanding player, as he showed in Salt Lake City.

Still, he’s a promising prospect who won G League Finals MVP honors with the OKC Blue last season and will look to continue his development as he prepares the Thunder for the Las Vegas Summer League.

More: OKC Thunder rookie Ajay Mitchell shows off incredible moves at NBA Summer League

OKC escaped with an 80-77 win. Ousmane Dieng led the Thunder to the victory, scoring or assisting on 16 of the team’s final 18 points. He finished with 17 points, eight assists and four blocks.

—Justin Martinez, Editor

OKC held a slim 52-51 advantage late in the third quarter, and Dieng came alive. After scoring just four points and turning over five in the first half, the 21-year-old forward scored seven points in the quarter.

—Justin Martinez, Editor

OKC took a 34-33 lead into halftime with Ajay Mitchell leading the charge. The rookie point guard scored 11 points in the second quarter, increasing his game-high to 15.

—Justin Martinez, Editor

Memphis led 20-19 late in the first quarter, thanks in part to Trey Jemison. The 6-10 forward scored eight points on 4-of-6 shooting from the field. Dillon Jones kept OKC within range with four points and three steals.

—Justin Martinez, Editor

Grind City Media’s Michael Wallace reports that Memphis rookie Zach Edey (ankle soreness) will not play on Wednesday.

Memphis selected the 7-foot-4 center with the No. 9 pick in the 2024 NBA draft. Edey had 14 points and 15 rebounds in a 97-95 overtime loss to Utah on Monday and did not play in the team’s 87-85 win over Philadelphia on Tuesday.

Thunder vs. Grizzlies – Kick-off time today

  • Date: Wednesday, July 10
  • Time: 6:00 PM Central American Time
  • Where: Delta Center in Salt Lake City

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By meerna

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