Detroit Pistons’ Ausar Thompson recovers from scare for double-double in 79-73 win

Detroit Free Press

Victor Wembanyama didn’t make an appearance in Friday night’s summer league matchup between the Detroit Pistons and the San Antonio Spurs, but there was still plenty of action.

The Pistons jumped out to an early 12-4 lead, but the Spurs fought back to keep the game close building an eight-point lead to start the fourth quarter. Detroit showed resilience and pulled together a team effort to get back on top, ultimately prevailing, 79-73.

Ausar Thompson led the team once again with a double-double, displaying his elite abilities on both sides of the ball. June’s No. 5 overall draft pick finished with 18 points and 14 rebounds. Behind him came Malcolm Cazalon, who finished with 16 points, and fellow first-round draft pick Marcus Sasser, who finished with 10 points.

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A scare for Thompson

Pistons fans collectively held their breath as Thompson clutched his wrist with just over 20 seconds to play in the first quarter. He and Buddy Boeheim were playing tough defense on Charles Bediako under the bucket and as they came down, Thompson’s arm got tangled within the trio.

Thompson was in obvious pain as he walked over to the bench, attempting to stretch out his lower arm. Although it initially looked as if he would leave the game, Thompson instead gave multiple thumbs-up before returning to the court.

His arm appeared fine as he continued to be an all-around presence throughout the game, including another candidate for SportsCenter’s Top 10. Thompson crept up behind Dominick Barlow, who wasn’t protecting his position under the basket, and grabbed the ball midair for a one-handed dunk that sent the Las Vegas crowd into a frenzy.

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Plenty of scoring to go around

The Pistons spread their scoring pretty evenly throughout the starting lineup, with six player contributing at least seven points: Thompson, Cazalon, Sasser, Tosan Evbuomwan, Jack Nunge and Zavier Simpson. Evbuomwan finished with nine points, Nunge seven and the former Michigan guard had eight.

Cazalon knocked down the first two points of the game and remained available to knock down a clutch shot throughout; Nunge, meanwhile, came up with two offensive rebounds to keep a play going early before putting it back for a quick two points. Sasser came alive in the third quarter, earning a speedy six points early in the third.

Although they were unable to get hot at the same time, their rotating contributions allowed the Pistons just enough momentum to continue to remain competitive until they broke out for 22 points in the fourth quarter.

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