Wainright, Raptors Defeat Rockets in Battle of Top Draft Picks, 92-76
Although Scottie Barnes had made headlines as the future of the Raptors, recent overseas signing Ish Wainright carried the offensive load for Toronto.
Wainright scored a game-high 20 points on 58.3% shooting in Thursday night’s win. The former Baylor Bear also got four of six three-point attempts to fall.
The 26-year-old guard did everything for Toronto, securing seven rebounds, assisting on two baskets, while grabbing four steals and blocking two Houston shots.
The former French Pro Leaguer had a plus/minus of +27, the highest in Thursday night’s matchup.
Battle of the first-round picks
Houston Rockets’ first-rounders Jalen Green and Josh Cristopher took on the Raptors’ fourth overall pick Scottie Barnes in Thursday night’s contest.
Green scored 13 points, shooting 50% from the field, including a 60% clip from three after tweaking his hamstring.
The G-League product only played 12 minutes against the Raptors, compared to 30 minutes against both the Cleveland Cavaliers and Detroit Pistons.
Josh Christopher shouldered the offensive load with a team-high 14 points, five rebounds, and three assists in 26 minutes.
The former Arizona State bucket getter was not very efficient in his scoring, shooting 22% from the field and just 11% from three.
Scottie Barnes also lacked the explosive offensive game he was known for, being drafted so high in the 2021 NBA Draft.
Barnes saw a dip in minutes compared to the first two Summer League games following a second-quarter exit with a hip injury.
The Florida State standout scored just eight points, attempting seven shots throughout the entire game.
The 20-year-old freak athlete’s defensive prowess was more impactful as he blocked a game-high five shots and grabbed four rebounds.
Barnes was arguably the best athlete in the 2021 NBA Draft with his shooting ability often cited as his biggest weakness.
Şengün stuffs the stat sheet
Rockets’ Alperen Şengün proved to be the versatile big that Houston was expecting when they drafted him with the 16th overall pick.
Şengün scored nine points, grabbed a game-high 11 boards, and dished out three assists in the Rockets’ first Summer League loss of 2021.
The 19-year-old Turkish superstar was also a defensive presence for Houston, recording two steals and one block on Thursday.
Şengün was coming off of an incredible MVP season in the Turkish Super League, where he did a lot of everything for Beşiktaş.
The first-year forward averaged 19.2 points, 9.4 rebounds, 1.7 blocks, and 1.3 steals leading Beşiktaş to a four-seed in the TSL.
In the first two NBA Summer League contests, Şengün averaged 18 points and 11.5 rebounds for the Rockets.
Toronto’s second-year starters
NBA sophomores Precious Achiuwa and Malachi Flynn supplemented the offensive explosion of Wainright in Toronto’s victory.
Achiuwa, who came over from Miami in the Kyle Lowry deal, bucketed eight of his 11 shot attempts for a total of 19 points.
The 6’8” forward even shot 67% from three after not averaging a single three-ball attempt in the 2020-21 NBA season.
The 21-year-old paint beast reeled in five rebounds while blocking two shots and recording two steals.
Malachi Flynn recorded 13 points, three steals, and three assists for the Raptors in their third Summer League game.
In 2021, Flynn averaged 7.5 points and 2.9 assists in under 20 minutes as the backup point guard in his rookie season.
Scottie Barnes and the Toronto Raptors will carry a record of 2-1 in Summer League play when they take on the emerging LiAngelo Ball and his Charlotte Hornets on August 14.
The reloaded Houston Rockets will move on from their first Summer League loss to take on Jalen Suggs and the Orlando Magic on August 15.