Bazemore monster slam stirs up Summer League
LAS VEGAS — Kent Bazemore made it clear.
The consolation round? Not good enough. Ninth place in Summer League? No way.
With a thunderous slam to fuel a furious Warriors comeback, Bazemore let the whole NBA know: He wants more. And it looks like he may get it.
Behind Bazemore’s 25 points and six rebounds, the Warriors narrowly escaped defeat Thursday night, erasing a 14-point fourth quarter Dallas lead to win their record 11th straight NBA Summer League game, 79-76.
Golden State outscored the Mavericks 17-2 in the game’s final minutes, including Bazemore’s demoralizing dunk.
With just over three minutes left to play, Bazemore exploded into the paint and hammered a posterizing slam over the top of 6-foot-9 Dallas center Jackie Carmichael.
On the previous play, Carmichael had swatted away a Bazemore jumper. Bazemore told SFBay he came back down the court with revenge in mind:
“It was like the little kid in me, remembering when my older cousins would foul me and it wouldn’t get called. That’s the kind of plays you gotta make in the NBA cause you can get your shot blocked so you have to be aggressive.”
The crowd, overwhelmingly Warriors fans, reacted by filling the arena with “Let’s go Warriors” chants, and standing on their feet for the final minutes of the nail-biter.
Bazemore said the erupting crowd made him feel at home and definitely gave the team an advantage:
“Oh my god. That’s by far been my favorite moment of the Summer League so far. It got so loud, it felt like Oracle.”
As one of the Summer League’s standouts, Bazemore has been doing everything he can to prove he deserves a spot on the Warriors roster this coming season.
From stepping up his defensive game, to getting more comfortable in the point guard position, he has continued to impress the coaching staff.
Bazemore told SFBay he knows he isn’t playing against the best point guards in the game, but that he’s finding his rhythm and enjoying playing the point position more:
“All it takes is reps. I want to be able to hold my own when I share the point. It’s just something that’s going to take time, it’s a process. … But you know, its fun though having the ball and having control.”
During practice and game breaks, Bazemore has been receiving what looked like treatment stretching his quadriceps, but he said it isn’t any sort of health issue, instead just keeping warm and loose because he’s not used to playing so much:
“It’s my first time playing heavy minutes since my last D-League game. My body is getting used to it and nothings gonna stop me.”
Golden State’s other summer standout, Draymond Green finished the night with 10 points, six rebounds and a gray cloud hanging over his head.
Visibly upset throughout the game, Green said he let a couple of mishaps in the first quarter affect him the rest of the night:
“I’m happy about the win, I just wasn’t myself today. I definitely won’t get sleep tonight.”
The Warriors advance to the Summer League quarterfinals and play the Lakers on Saturday at 7:00 p.m.