LAS VEGAS – Over the course of the next week, the Spurs have a chance to coach up their young talent with four games in the NBA’s Summer League in Las Vegas. Fans and coaches will get to see two of their three recent first-round draft picks -- Malaki Branham and Blake Wesley -- in action against other developing talent, with second-year guard Josh Primo likely leading the way under the purview of summer league head coach Mitch Johnson.
All three of those players played a large role in the Spurs’ opening contest against the Cavaliers on Thursday, but San Antonio couldn’t quite come from behind in a 99-90 loss.
Wesley, a rookie guard selected No. 25 overall out of Notre Dame, helped power the Spurs’ offense in the first quarter by scoring seven points and assisting on four made baskets. Primo ended the quarter with a jumper with nine seconds left, and San Antonio entered the second quarter trailing 27-22. Those two continued their surge in the next frame with a pair of three-pointers, keying a 19-6 run that gave San Antonio a 41-33 edge. But Cleveland rallied behind Cameron Young and Luke Travers to lead 48-45 at halftime.
The Cavaliers then dominated the third quarter, roaring out to a 65-47 lead on a three-pointer from RJ Nembhard Jr., who finished with a team-high 20 points. Cleveland outscored San Antonio 30-17 in the frame, but the Spurs fought back to make things interesting in the fourth quarter. Primo and Wesley each finished with 20 points each and Branham added 15, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the 19-point deficit. Dominick Barlow hauled in a team-high seven rounds for the Spurs.
Next, San Antonio resumes Summer League play on Sunday against the Golden State Warriors. Tip off is scheduled for 6:30 p.m.