Summer League: Sixers fail again to fend off Jayson Tatum, Celtics

Summer League: Sixers fail again to fend off Jayson Tatum, Celtics

LAS VEGAS -- The Sixers’ second-half comeback fell short as the Celtics won Tuesday’s game, 88-83.

The Sixers trailed by as many as 12 in the first half. They fought back from a seven-point halftime deficit to outscore the Celtics 25-11 in the third quarter. The Celtics quickly erased the Sixers’ lead, though, early in the fourth. 

The teams were tied with three minutes to play. Jayson Tatum put the Celtics up 81-77 on a driving basket to beat the shot clock. Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot drew a foul but only made one free throw. Semi Ojeleye put the game away with a three-point play.

The Sixers fell to 1-2 in Las Vegas while the Celtics improved to 3-0. 

Inside the box score
• Luwawu-Cabarrot led all players with 16 points along with six rebounds.

• Tatum and Jabari Bird scored 15 points each for the Celtics.

• Ante Zizic posted 12 points and 13 rebounds.

• Jonah Bolden scored 13 points with eight boards.

• Jaylen Brown scored his seven points in the first quarter. Brown later exited the game with a thigh injury.

• Furkan Korkmaz struggled, shooting 2 for 7 from the field (5 points). 

• Melo Trimble scored 13 points off the bench (3 for 5 from three). 

• Mathias Lessort, the 50th overall pick by the Sixers in last month’s draft, received FIBA clearance the morning of the game and made his summer league debut Tuesday. He posted four points, four rebounds, one steal, one block and four fouls in 12 minutes. 

Big man battle
The Sixers didn’t have a defensive answer for the 6-foot-11 center Zizic. They started Bolden at the five, but Zizic had a 20-pound advantage and easily grabbed a double-double. That matchup was interesting to watch as Zizc is a traditional big man and Bolden was stretching the floor knocking down threes. 

Third-quarter tumble
Andrew Harrison and Landen Lucas got tangled up in the third. Harrison looked as if he threw Lucas to the ground on defense. After Tatum scored on the same play, Lucas stepped over Harrison’s head as Harrison stood up. Harrison grabbed Lucas, who fell to the ground. Harrison was issued a technical foul. 

Sixers sightings
Robert Covington, Justin Anderson and Jerryd Bayless were on hand for the game. 

Up next
The Sixers received the No. 18 seed in the tournament portion of play and will face the 15th-seeded Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night (10:30 p.m./ESPN2).

With Markelle Fultz and Ben Simmons set to debut, John Wall and Bradley Beal recall their early days

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With Markelle Fultz and Ben Simmons set to debut, John Wall and Bradley Beal recall their early days

The Sixers will have two No. 1 overall picks make their NBA debuts on Wednesday night in Markelle Fultz (2017) and Ben Simmons (2016). They are in for a challenge with the Wizards, one of the best teams in basketball, and with guards John Wall and Bradley Beal.

Wall and Beal know that challenge well. They were both top draft picks in their own right, Wall the first pick in 2010 and Beal the third pick in 2012. They can recall in specifics their first games in the NBA and how humbling they were.

"My first game, I was going against Dwight Howard. It was fun," Wall said. "There was a lot of pressure. There were a lot of people talking."

It's often said that the point guard position is as deep as it's ever been nowadays. The last three MVP awards have gone to point guards, for instance.

There were some good ones back in 2010, too.

"I remember in a five-game span I played like [Rajon] Rondo, Derrick Rose here and then I went out west and played Steve Nash, Chris Paul and Russell [Westbrook]," Wall said. "I don't think it's gotten any harder than it was back then in 2010 with those five guys. You kind of understand what those guys are about when you get to see it firsthand and play against them."

Beal vividly remembers going up against the LeBron James-led Miami Heat as a 19-year-old. It wasn't easy.

"It was the Heat when they had [Dwyane Wade] and LeBron on the same team. That's when D-Wade was electrifying. He still had his quickness. He was strong as I don't know what and I was a baby at that time," he said.

"For me, it was like I was in awe because those are the guys I grew up watching and I was a fan of. Now I'm playing against them and I can't be a fan of them. It was amazing to play against them, but also an eye-opener like, I need to get better."

Now it's Fultz and Simmons' turn to see what matching up with NBA superstars is like and don't expect Wall or Beal to take it easy on them.

"I'm a competitive person, so I'm not going to back down from any challenge," Wall said.