While the second half of the Celtics’ third Las Vegas NBA Summer League contest may have featured an Orlando team playing without their trio of starting guards, Thursday nights game was over by halftime. Boston picked up where they left off against Denver as they built a quick double-digit lead that was never surrendered in a 108-71 win over Orlando at Cox Pavilion.
At Summer League, there are always a few players who don’t belong. That’s meant in the compliment sense of not belonging on the floor. Boston has not one, but multiple of those NBA Summer League stars, and they didn’t disappoint. Coming off of a nearly perfect shooting game and 30-plus point performance, Aaron Nesmith’s following act saw him show off his mid-range creation early to the tune of 7 first-quarter points.
Rookie Sam Hauser came off the bench late in the first period to nail back-to-back threes and extend Boston’s lead to 9 at the end of one. By halftime, Payton Pritchard had begun to percolate as he led the way with 11 points and the Celtics had built their lead to 19.
Whether by design or because Orlando let things get out of hand early, the trio of Jalen Suggs, RJ Hampton, and Cole Anthony only played in the first half and combined to go just 5-18 from the field.
Without their lead guards, Orlando struggled even more offensively and let the lead balloon to a final score of 108-71. It was Hauser’s day, as the rookie led all scorers with 21 points off the bench on 6-10 from three. The Virginia product looked like he was catching up to the pace.
“The first two games I was kind of getting used to [the game speed] and couldn’t make a shot,” Hauser told reporters after the win. “But I think in this third game, I really got my legs underneath me and adjusted.”
Nesmith pitched in 18 while Pritchard added 17 as the Celtics improved to 3-0 in Las Vegas.
Up next for Boston is another undefeated team in Philadelphia on Saturday at 5 pm EST.