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Summer league action for NBA teams opens in Orlando

Associated Press

While the focus was on business, there was some basketball Saturday.

Free agency dominates the news in early July, so the first of three summer leagues for NBA teams began quietly in Orlando with five games.

The Orlando Pro Summer League features 10 teams and runs through next Friday, before action moves out to Utah and then Las Vegas.

Charlotte, Dallas, Miami, New York, Indiana, Oklahoma City, Detroit, the Los Angeles Clippers, and the Orlando Magic Blue and Orlando Magic White were all in action on opening day.

A look at some of the notable action:

Big shot

Second-year guard Cameron Payne gave the Thunder an 86-85 victory over Dallas in the opener with a 3-pointer with 3.6 seconds remaining. He finished with 16 points and made a nice first impression on new teammate Victor Oladipo, who was dealt from Orlando to Oklahoma City in a trade on draft night.

“I’m glad I hit the shot for him,” Payne told the Magic’s web site . “He’s definitely a cool guy.”

Blowout basketball

While the first two games were competitive, the last three were blowouts.

Indiana beat the Magic Blue 93-66, the Pistons hammered the Knicks 81-49, and the Heat routed the Clippers 91-71.

Second-year stars

After reaching the second round of the playoffs as rookies, Justise Winslow and Josh Richardson found things easy in summer league.

Winslow scored 21 points and Richardson had 17 in the Heat’s 91-71 victory over the Clippers. Winslow was a second-team All-Rookie selection, while Richardson just missed being voted to that team.

Winslow’s performance was a nice first audition for a starting spot next season, and the Heat will have at least two available. Joe Johnson (Utah) and Luol Deng (Lakers) have both agreed to deals with new teams.

More second-year stars

Stanley Johnson, a top-10 pick a year ago, had 15 points and eight rebounds for Detroit.

Joe Young, who got into 41 games for the Pacers after being selected in the second round, had 22 points on 8-of-12 shooting, going 5 of 7 from 3-point range.

Rookie watch

The highest-picked player in the recent draft in action Saturday was Detroit’s Henry Ellenson, the No. 18 selection. The Marquette forward/center had 12 points and eight rebounds, though shot just 4 of 13.

Brice Johnson, the No. 25 pick from North Carolina, had six points and six rebounds in his Clippers debut.

Dazzling debut

Georges Niang had 17 points and 12 rebounds in his first appearance for the Pacers. The former Iowa State star was taken with the 50th pick in the draft.

Put me in Coach?

Juwan Howard Jr. didn’t get into the game for the Heat. He can take it up with the coach – who’s also his father. Heat assistant Juwan Howard is running the team in Orlando.

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