The Spurs Las Vegas Summer League opener was cut short Friday night after a 6.9 magnitude earthquake struck the Southern California area. San Antonio trailed 75-59 when NBA officials suspended play at the end of the third quarter.
Orlando led by as many as 29 points in the first half, but the Silver and Black managed to cut the deficit to 12 points behind a suffocating second-half defensive stand.
Keldon Johnson and Luka Šamanić teased fans with a few eye-opening sequences. Unfortunately, their overall showing failed to make a lasting impression on the outcome of the game.
Despite the numerous struggles of their Summer Leauge teammates, Drew Eubanks and Lonnie Walker IV rose to the occasion. Eubanks provided a steady presence down low and Lonnie shined bright for all to see.
How did San Antonio’s sophomores set themselves apart from the crowd?
The night didn’t start so hot for the 22-year-old center. Guards and bigs alike blew by him for easy buckets, and a couple of careless fouls led to a pair of avoidable and-ones.
If the first few minutes told the story of his outing, San Antonio would probably be searching for immediate help at his position. Eubanks looked lost on defensive rotations, and Orlando couldn’t miss when he was on the floor.
Thankfully, Eubanks turned things around as the game progressed and helped the Spurs mount a third-quarter charge. He set study screens, rolled hard to the basket, stuffed home some slams, and met challengers at the rim. He even turned the corner on last year’s fifth overall pick, Mo Bamba.
Drew finished with 15 points and three swats to go along with six trips to the free throw line. His two rebounds were a litter underwhelming for 18 minutes of action, but his flawless five-for-five effort from the field was more than enough to make up for it.
Lonnie Walker IV:
Lonnie Walker IV was once again the best player on the court, and it wasn’t close. The second-year guard was cooking with grease, and nobody was going to slow him down.
Coming out of college, one of the biggest knocks on Walker was his failure to knock down pull-up jumpers with any consistency. Tonight, he couldn't miss. You just had the feeling he was going to score every time he rose into a mid-range shot, and for the most part, he didn't disappoint.
His passing out of dribble drives wasn’t quite there, but clearly his ability to penetrate the lanes opened up looks for his teammates. More importantly, he played at a blinding pace and never lost control. In fact, Lonnie’s singular turnover came on a gorgeous full-court bounce pass that was too hot for Luka to handle.
Walker led all scorers with 28 points, and who knows how many he would’ve racked up had the contest gone the distance. His 11-of-17 shooting was a refreshingly efficient improvement from two nights ago, and he should look to build upon this breakout performance.