Moements of Summer League: The Sixers Debut of Maurice Harkless

Moements of Summer League: The Sixers Debut of Maurice Harkless

Fans of the Philadelphia 76ers devout enough to tune in for the team's
Summer League kickoff against the Indiana Pacers were treated to a
fairly miserable game of basketball, one where only 57 points were
scored by the two teams combined throughout the first two quarters, but
one which picked up a little towards the end and featured a handful of
memorable plays. Most importantly, it was the pro debut of Sixers
first-round pick Maurice "We're Probably Gonna Call You 'Mo' Because it
Sounds Better" Harkless, who started and played about 23 minutes for the
Sixers despite being hamstrung by a bad hip flexor. (Arnett Moultrie,
the Sixers' other first-round selection, sat with an ankle sprain and is
not expected to play in the Summer League.)

As could probably be expected for a 19-year-old not playing at 100%,
Harkless failed to set the world on fire in his debut as a Liberty
Baller, but had some moments. He looked pretty lost on offense for most
of the first half, unable to either properly post up or secure
separation from a defender—though his shot-happy guards didn't help him
out much on that front. He was hesitant to catch-and-shoot, and his
drives to the basket, while well-intentioned, were a little bit awkward
and his shots were well off. He missed his first three shots, though he
ended the first half with an easy dunk and a sprawling layup, which at
least got him on the board before halftime.

He had some better moments in the second half. He spotted up for a
wide-open catch-and-shoot three in the third quarter and drained it
easily, and followed up a nice move to the basket he made with a tip-in
of his own miss. He finished with nine points on 4-9 shooting, with five
rebounds and an assist. Overall, he didn't flash a ton of
athleticism—probably the wonky hip playing a part with that—but he did
show off one physical advantage with his Durant-like arms. What was
remarkable about his dunk was how little he had to jump to slam it—it
seemed like he was basically at the rim already, and just needed to
tippy-toe to send it home. It seems like those arms could present a real
issue to opponents on defense, and he was unsurprisingly handsy trying
to strip the ball on a couple defensive possessions (though he got
burned a couple times gambling, so he might want to watch that).

So an INC for Mo Harkless thusfar. Nobody else really impressed
tremendously in the 69-63 loss—Jacob Pullen and Xavier Silas both took a
lot of shots and made some of them, Clay Tucker played way too many
minutes, why the hell is Solomon Jones even on this team—but Justin
Holiday had a couple fun moments, showing a nice stroke from beyond (2-5
from deep) and socirng on a crafty hand-switching drive to the basket
that reminded of his younger brother Jrue. The other J. Holiday also
grabbed seven boards and collected two steals, and will be interesting
to watch for the rest of the Summer League. You gotta root for the older
bros.

The Sixers take on the Jazz on Tuesday at 11:00 on NBA TV. Times will be had.

Best of NHL: Last-place Islanders take down rival Rangers

Best of NHL: Last-place Islanders take down rival Rangers

NEW YORK -- Andrew Ladd scored in the second period and Jaroslav Halak stopped 36 shots to lead the New York Islanders to a 4-2 victory over the crosstown-rival Rangers on Tuesday night.

John Tavares, Jason Chimera and Scott Mayfield also scored at the Barclays Center to help the last-place Islanders improve to 4-0-1 in their last five games.

Jimmy Vesey and Marc Staal scored for the Metropolitan Division-leading Rangers and Henrik Lundqvist finished with 28 saves. The Rangers have alternated wins and losses in regulation in their last eight games.

Halak beat Lundqvist for the ninth time in their last 10 matchups. Halak had won eight straight -- including the last five after joining the Islanders before the 2014-15 season -- before Lundqvist ended the streak in the Rangers' 5-3 win in the season opener Oct. 13 at Madison Square Garden. Lundqvist is now 1-6-1 in his last eight against the Islanders (see full recap).

Schwartz lifts Blues over Canadiens in OT
ST. LOUIS -- Jaden Schwartz got his second goal of the game in overtime, leading the St. Louis Blues to a 3-2 victory over the Montreal Canadiens on Tuesday night.

Paul Stastny also scored for St. Louis, which has won four of five. The Blues rallied from a 2-0 deficit and have a point in their last 13 home games.

Tomas Plekanec and Paul Byron scored for Montreal, which completed a five-game trip 2-3.

Goalie Jake Allen made 28 saves to improve to 13-3-3.

Schwartz lifted a backhander past goalie Al Montoya with 1:22 left in overtime.

Stastny and Schwartz scored in a 2:51 span in the third period to tie it at 2 (see full recap).

Blackhawks blank Coyotes to snap modest skid
CHICAGO -- Marian Hossa had two goals, Scott Darling made 22 saves and the Chicago Blackhawks beat the Arizona Coyotes 4-0 on Tuesday night to snap a two-game slide.

Artem Anisimov and Dennis Rasmussen also scored to help Chicago maintain a three-point lead over St. Louis in the Central Division.

Darling made a handful of tough stops but wasn't heavily tested in his first shutout this season and third of his career. He started his third straight game in place of No. 1 goalie Corey Crawford, who had an appendectomy in Philadelphia on Saturday.

The 37-year-old Hossa scored his team-leading 13th and 14th goals in his 27th game -- surpassing his total of 13 last season in 64 contests (see full recap).

Best of NBA: Magic overcome Wall's 52 points to beat Wizards

Best of NBA: Magic overcome Wall's 52 points to beat Wizards

WASHINGTON -- Elfrid Payton scored 22 of his season-high 25 points in the first half and the Orlando Magic overcame John Wall's 52-point performance to beat the Washington Wizards, 124-116 on Tuesday night.

Wall had the highest-scoring game of his career and kept Washington in it with 33 points in the second half as the Wizards cut the lead below 10 in the fourth quarter. The guard made 18 of 31 from the field and added eight assists.

Payton went 8 for 8 from the field and 3 for 3 from the line off the bench in that first half, nearly matching his previous season best of 23 points in the first two quarters alone. Payton finished 9 for 12 and handed out nine assists.

Orlando won its third straight game and its 124 points were a season high (see full recap).

Spurs trounce Timberwolves to reach 13-0 on the road
MINNEAPOLIS -- Kawhi Leonard scored 31 points and the San Antonio Spurs improved to 13-0 on the road this season with a 105-91 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Tuesday night.

Leonard hit 11 of 15 shots after not scoring at all in the first quarter and Patty Mills scored 15 points off the bench for the Spurs (18-4), who played without Tony Parker after he bruised his left knee against Milwaukee on Wednesday night. San Antonio overcame a slow start to shoot 52.7 percent.

The Spurs moved past the 1969-70 New York Knicks to take sole possession of the second-best road start to begin a season in NBA history. The Golden State Warriors started 14-0 last year.

Zach LaVine scored 25 points for the Timberwolves. Karl-Anthony Towns had 11 points and 14 rebounds, but shot just 3 of 16 (see full recap).

Anthony, Knicks blow past depleted Heat
MIAMI -- Carmelo Anthony matched a season high with 35 points, and the New York Knicks beat the injury-ravaged Miami Heat 114-103 on Tuesday night.

Kristaps Porzingis had 14 points and 12 rebounds for New York, which is three games over .500 for the first time since the end of the 2012-13 season. The Knicks lost Derrick Rose to back spasms in the third quarter.

Goran Dragic scored 29 points and Hassan Whiteside finished with 23 points and 14 rebounds for the Heat, who fell to 2-8 at home.

The teams were tied at 68 late in the third quarter, when the Knicks went on a 27-13 run over the next eight minutes to take control. Anthony finished 13 for 27 from the field, and Porzingis and Joakim Noah combined for 22 rebounds (see full recap).