Rapid Reaction: Spurs finish Utah Summer League with win over Grizzlies

Photo of Jabari Young
Derrick White finished with a team-high 26 points to help the Spurs beat the Memphis Grizzlies in the Utah Summer League on Thursday. Photo by Jabari Young

Derrick White finished with a team-high 26 points to help the Spurs beat the Memphis Grizzlies in the Utah Summer League on Thursday. Photo by Jabari Young

SALT LAKE CITY – Spurs assistant coach Will Hardy had no intention of bothering his players on Wednesday.

Hardy's plan was simple: Allow guys to get treatment in the morning and enjoy the holiday without being bothered with basketball.

"We've been together for seven days straight," said Hardy. "So, it was a good day for them to get away and get some rest."

The Spurs rewarded their coach by closing out the Utah Summer League beating the Memphis Grizzlies, 94-87, at Vivint Smart Home Arena.

Derrick White continued his solid play finishing with a team-high 26 points on 8-of-17 shooting, seven rebounds and six assists, while Chimezie Metu added nine points and nine rebounds in the win.

The Spurs finish the Utah Summer League 2-1.

Quick response: White got the Spurs off to a strong start, scoring 13 points in the first quarter and converting 3 of 5 3-pointers. The team took a 25-20 lead after the first 10 minutes.

The Grizzlies would respond, though.

Following a Cory Jefferson turnover, Kobi Simmons recorded his second steal of the first half and converted a fastbreak to help the Grizzlies start on a 12-6 run. Hardy called a timeout, and Lonnie Walker was unleashed.

Walker converted his first field goal of the game – a 25-foot 3-pointer – to cut the Grizzlies lead to one. Moments later, Walker got a dunk off a White assist, and then nailed a 27-foot 3-pointer to give the Spurs a 41-38 lead at the 3:24 mark in the second quarter.

Walker finished the quarter with eight points on 3-of-4 shooting, while White closed out the first half with a game-high 21 points.

After the sluggish start to the second, the Spurs finished the quarter shooting 6-of-11 (3-for-4 from three), outscoring the Grizzlies 20-13 to take a 51-45 halftime lead.

Walker finished with 14 points and three rebounds in his second Summer League appearance.

Shooting for the stars: Led by White (5-for-8) the Spurs shot 60 percent from beyond the arc. Jeff Ledbetter scored all nine of his points on 3-pointers, while Cory Jefferson shot 2-of-3 from three, finishing with six points.

Hardy credited the ball movement for the success from three.

"Last game our ball movement improved but tonight we were able to drive the ball, get in the paint, kick and find some open shooters," said Hardy. "When we're able to drive north-south and get in the paint, there is a lot of open shots."

The other rookie: With his father, former Spur Jaren Jackson Jr. in attendance, Jaren Jackson Jr. did not get off to the best start. He finished the first half with 6 points on 1-of-5 shooting, but did convert 3-of-4 from the free-throw line.

Jackson finished the game with eight points on 1-of-7 shooting in 26 minutes.

Watchful eye: Olivier Hanlan received his first taste of game action on Thursday. He checked in the game at the 4:23 mark in the first quarter and quickly found Drew Eubanks for a layup.

Hanlan started the second half in place of Cory Jefferson. At the 6:43 mark of the third, he connected with Jaron Blossomgame on a give-and-go to help the Spurs open the period on a 10-2 run.

Hanlan finished the game with eight points, five rebounds and four assists. Expect Hardy to give the veteran guard more opportunities as the summer progresses.

Injury report: Point guard London Perrantes (concussion-like symptoms) did not play on Thursday. The Spurs are hoping he can play this weekend as play shifts to the Las Vegas.

Up Next: The Spurs will open the Las Vegas Summer League on Saturday against the Indiana Pacers.