ORLANDO, Fla–The Oklahoma City Thunder came into Saturday’s Orlando Pro Summer League opener with a team full of experienced NBA players, but that mattered very little to Jordan Adams and the Memphis Grizzlies.
Adams, the 22nd pick in last month’s NBA Draft, drilled four 3-pointers and scored 20 points as the Grizzlies routed the Thunder 84-63 at Orlando’s Amway Center.
Memphis (1-0) shot just 37 percent for the game, but it used a 33-16 edge in the second quarter to build a big lead that swelled to as much as 23 points in the second half. Incredibly, the Grizzlies were a plus-28 during Adams’ 24 minutes on the floor on Saturday. Afterward, the UCLA product was more proud of the defense that he played than his torrid 3-point shooting.
“The knock is that I don’t play D or that I’m lazy on defense, but I’m trying to prove people wrong this week,” said Adams, who had four steals on Saturday. “They have told me that no matter what I do on offense to play defense. That’s what I’m trying to do this week.”
Center Steven Adams, a standout rookie this past season for the Thunder (0-1), played just 17 minutes because of a bruised shin. He had seven points and two rebounds for an OKC team that made 39.2 percent of its shots.
Perry Jones and Jeremy Lamb, reserves on the Thunder the past two seasons, had 15 and 14 points respectively on Saturday. Lamb missed eight of 12 shots and six of his seven tries from 3-point range.
Jarnell Stokes, the 35th pick of the NBA Draft following a successful stint at the University of Tennessee, scored 10 points, grabbed five rebounds and swatted two shots. He said he’s quickly fallen in love with Memphis’ system of pounding the ball inside to the big men to let them create for others.
“Looking at our offense, I can see why the bigs thrive here,” Stokes said. “I just have to learn to slow down because like most rookies I speed myself up out there sometimes. But it will come and I will get better.”
Adams made three of his first four 3-point shots for 13 first-half points. For the game, he got to the free throw line eight times (all makes) and chipped in three rebounds and three assists to go with his four steals.