It's Day 3 of Orlando Summer League and the Charlotte Hornets are playing for the third day in a row. This usually leads to some tired basketball, but the Thunder were on three days in a row as well creating some semblance of balance. The names to look out for today were Gabe York, DeShaun Thomas, Tim Quarterman, and Aaron Harrison. Of course it was also worth keeping an eye on the rest of the Hornets roster to see if any more players broke out.
The first quarter started off similar to yesterday's game with the Hornets using speed and passing to get a lot of open looks. The group that looks more organized will dominate summer league and that's what it was for the Hornets early on. However, OKC got their stuff together in the second quarter and closed the deficit quick.
Brandon Paul and Mike Tobey, two players that had been very quiet the first two days, came alive in the first half. Tobey in particular was making himself not only active in points with 12, but he pulled down six boards and had some pretty solid moments in pick and roll defense. Brandon Paul, also quiet the last couple days, put up 12 points himself and pulled down seven boards.
The second half was a long back and forth between both sides, and featured a whole lot of ugly basketball. Perhaps it was the afternoon lull that hit everybody in the arena at once, or maybe it was just a realization that dear god this was the third straight day of the high quality pickup basketball that is Orlando Summer League, or maybe I was just losing my mind. It was all a blur, but then all of a sudden it was like everybody drank Red Bull. The Thunder went on a run, and brought it to within single digits.
Despite OKC's run, Gabe York continued his stellar summer league performance dropping in buckets throughout the second half, and consistently finding a way for him to score. He's going to have to find a way that he can help NBA teams besides his scoring, but he's shown that he knows how to get buckets.
As things went down to the wire it looked like OKC was going to complete the comeback in their favor. That was when Aaron Harrison took over the game just like he used to do back in his old days at Kentucky. A 3-pointer from the corner. Bang. Take his man off the dribble pull up from midrange fading towards the baseline. Bang. Time running off the clock, ball in his hands, a drive into traffic he draws contact and gets to the line. Hits both free throws. Game. He finished with 19 points.
Brandon Paul finished with 17 points and 11 rebounds for a double-double, and Mike Tobey dropped 14 after a strong first half.
Box score can be found here