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Two top-5 picks hurt as Rockets beat Blazers at buzzer in summer league action

Portland’s Henderson, Houston’s Thompson both injured in 2nd half

By The Associated Press
Published: July 7, 2023, 7:29pm
3 Photos
Houston Rockets' Jabari Smith Jr., right, fouls Portland Trail Blazers' Scoot Henderson during the second half of an NBA summer league basketball game Friday, July 7, 2023, in Las Vegas.
Houston Rockets' Jabari Smith Jr., right, fouls Portland Trail Blazers' Scoot Henderson during the second half of an NBA summer league basketball game Friday, July 7, 2023, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher) Photo Gallery

LAS VEGAS — Jabari Smith Jr. hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to rally the Houston Rockets to a 100-99 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers in an NBA Summer League game Friday that saw two top-five picks unable to finish the game due to injuries.

Scoot Henderson, the No. 3 selection, injured his right shoulder in the third quarter and did not return for Portland (0-1). He finished with 15 points and six assists.

Amen Thompson, the fourth overall pick, injured his ankle late in the game and did not return for Houston (1-0). He had 16 points, five assists, four rebounds and four steals.

Smith, the No. 3 pick last year, scored 29 of his game-high 33 points in the second half. Tari Eason pitched in with 20 points, nine rebounds, five assists and four blocks. Cam Whitmore contributed 14 points and 11 rebounds.

Shaedon Sharpe topped the Blazers with 21 points. Jabari Walker added 15 points and 10 rebounds.

Summer league tickets were sold out for Friday, with all 17,500 claimed, the NBA said. The league was approaching sellouts for Saturday and Sunday as well; Victor Wembanyama is expected to play for the San Antonio Spurs on Sunday against Portland.

Wembanyama — the 7-foot-3 French teen whose debut has been hotly awaited — made headlines Thursday when Britney Spears filed a police report saying a saying a Spurs security struck her.

No charges will be filed following a brief investigation, Las Vegas police said Friday after determining Spears inadvertently “hit herself in the face” when someone pushed her hand off Wembanyama as she reached up to tap on his shoulder.

Games continue in Las Vegas through July 17. Summer League contests are slightly shorter than regular season games; quarters are 10 minutes each instead of the customary 12.

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