Cade Cunningham, Jalen Green shine in head-to-head battle


The top two picks in the 2021 NBA Draft met for the first time on Tuesday night, and the matchup didn’t disappoint.

Detroit’s Cade Cunningham and Houston’s Jalen Green each had strong showings as the Rockets beat the Pistons 111-91 at the 2021 NBA Summer League in Las Vegas.

After outshining the No. 3 overall pick, Cleveland Cavaliers big man Evan Mobley, on Sunday, Green went toe-to-toe with the No. 1 overall pick in his second Summer League game. The 6-foot-5 guard, who scored 23 points against Cleveland, posted a game-high 25 points (6 of 11 shooting), along with five rebounds and three assists.

He did most of his damage from the free throw line, making 10 of his 11 attempts, and from beyond the arc, where he went 3 of 5.

Houston got big contributions from two other 2021 first-round picks in the win. Big man Alperen Sengun, the 16th overall pick, tallied 21 points, eight rebounds and four blocks. Guard Josh Christopher, the 24th overall pick, chipped in 15 points and seven assists.

Meanwhile, Cunningham bounced back from an inefficient debut (12 points on 5 of 17 shooting) against the Oklahoma City Thunder. The Oklahoma State product poured in 20 points, going 8 of 18 from the floor and 4 of 9 from deep. He added four rebounds and three steals.

Cunningham's performance even included a couple of highlight-reel plays against Green.

Green and the 2-0 Rockets will be back in action on Thursday against the Toronto Raptors at 8 p.m. ET, while Cunningham’s 0-2 Pistons face the New York Knicks next on Friday at 8 p.m.