Jayson Tatum actually played a back-to-back-to-back-to-back in college this year, during Duke’s four-game, four-day march through the ACC Tournament.
So one part of NBA life isn’t totally foreign to the rookie. Games on consecutive days are going to be a common thing for Tatum going forward, and he knows it’s going to be an adjustment.
He struggled with his shot at times Sunday, but did enough to help the Boston Celtics beat the Portland Trail Blazers 70-64 at the NBA Summer League _ on a day where he was the marquee attraction. “The back-to-back, the quick turnaround, I definitely felt it today, sluggish and tired,” Tatum said. “But we got the win.” With No. 1 pick Markelle Fultz’s time in summer league now over because of a sprained ankle, and with No. 2 selection Lonzo Ball and the Los Angeles Lakers having the day off, Tatum had plenty of eyeballs on him during Day 3 in Las Vegas.
His shot wasn’t there, but his game was. Tatum had 11 points and seven rebounds and showed off his defensive knack again.
The Celtics shot only 38 percent, but improved to 2-0. Boston played its first game in Las Vegas on Saturday, topping Ball and the Lakers. A day later, it was back to work. Tatum shot 4 for 11, missing his final six shots.
He gets a day off Monday, before returning Tuesday when Boston faces Philadelphia _ in what could have been a reprise of the Tatum-Fultz matchup in a summer game in Salt Lake City last week.
But the 76ers announced Sunday that Fultz will likely need up to a couple weeks for his ankle to heal, so his summer is done.
A look at some other notable action in Las Vegas on Sunday: ELEVATING GAME: Rashad Vaughn got stuck in an elevator a few days ago, and couldn’t get out for about an hour. He’s taken full advantage of his freedom since.
Vaughn had 31 points and eight rebounds, leading the Milwaukee Bucks past the Brooklyn Nets 88-83. Vaughn had 21 of his points after halftime, and shot 13 for 18 from the field. It was a big bounceback for the Bucks, who dropped their Vegas opener to Cleveland on Friday in an 82-53 rout.
“More settled, more calm,” Vaughn told NBA TV after the Bucks got their first win of the summer. “The first game is always tough because your jitters are going, you’re excited. But we were able to come in and be calm and slow things down and I think that helped us a lot.”
Vaughn, however, wasn’t the problem in that Cleveland game. In the 21 minutes that he played, the Bucks and Cavaliers were even. In the 19 minutes where he wasn’t on the floor, the Cavs outscored the Bucks by 29. NO
MITCHELL: Utah’s Donovan Mitchell got the day off, and the Jazz struggled. Utah actually led 16-6 late in the opening quarter, then got outscored by the Los Angeles Clippers 80-51 the rest of the way. Final score: Clippers 86, Jazz 67.
The Clippers led by as many as 26, and shot 51 percent. Between three games in Utah and one in Vegas, Mitchell has averaged 16.3 points for the Jazz this summer. JUST ENOUGH: Atlanta missed four free throws in the final 39 seconds of its game against New Orleans.
The Hawks won the game from the foul line anyway. Atlanta scored the game’s last four points, all from the line, and beat the Pelicans 84-82. Ryan Kelly’s two makes with 22.3 seconds left were the ones that gave the Hawks the final margin _ even though things got plenty interesting when DeAndre’ Bembry and John Collins each went 0 for 2 from the stripe in the final moments. GLOBAL GAME: If anyone needed a reminder that the NBA is a global game, take a peek at the Phoenix-Dallas matchup. Just about all corners of the globe were represented. Phoenix has Dragan Bender from Croatia, and Chris Obekpa from Nigeria.
Dallas’ summer roster includes Nicolas Brussino of Argentina, Ding Yanyuhang of China and Corey Webster of New Zealand. And on top of all that, the Suns-Mavericks game was officiated by Isak Kristinsson _ one of the top referees in Iceland, who now gets to show the NBA his work in Las Vegas. Dallas led wire to wire, winning 88-77. LOTS OF
SHOTS: Malik Beasley is taking his shots in Las Vegas. Lots and lots of shots. Beasley took 30 shots in Denver’s summer opener against Houston on Friday, and took 17 more for the Nuggets against Minnesota on Sunday. He shot better Sunday _ 8 for 17, as opposed to 12 for 30 in the first game _ but it still hasn’t been a winning formula. Minnesota never trailed, beating the Nuggets 90-71. Denver dropped to 0-2.