Detroit Pistons’ Marcus Sasser scorches Pacers for 40 in 100-85 win to close Summer League

Detroit Free Press

The Detroit Pistons made one last appearance in the NBA Summer League on Sunday, this time without No. 5 overall draft pick Ausar Thompson. The Pistons beat the Indiana Pacers, 100-85, in his absence, thanks to No. 25 overall pick Marcus Sasser’s 40-point performance that gave the team the momentum it needed.

Thompson started in the first four games, showing off his all-around abilities with plenty of highlights. He finished with a double-double Friday against the Spurs with 18 points and 14 rebounds. Stanley Umude took his spot in the starting lineup Sunday.

Without Thompson, the Pistons spread the wealth in scoring early. Nine Pistons scored in the first quarter. Of the team’s 19 points entering the second, Tosan Evbuomwan led the way, with four. Sasser, however, broke away from the pack as he consistently found new scoring opportunities, finishing with 40 points, three rebounds and five assists.

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Sasser’s hot hand didn’t arrive until the second quarter, allowing the Pacers to take a 47-42 to the locker room at halftime, but things quickly changed in the third. Once Sasser found his stride, there was no stopping him from reaching the basket, and the Pistons pulled away, outscoring the Pacers by 10 points in each of the final two quarters to finish Las Vegas play with a 4-1 record.

Sasser finds stride

Sasser, the University of Houston product, finished strong in his best performance of the summer. Sasser finished 5-for-9 from behind the arc, 16-for-25 overall and a perfect 3-for-3 from the free throw line in just under 30 minutes of action.

Although Sasser has been a consistent scorer for Detroit in summer ball, this was by far his strongest offensive production. When general manager Troy Weaver introduced Thompson and Sasser last month, however, he lauded the duo’s defensive skills.

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Sasser continued to dazzle on the defensive side as well on Sunday, grabbing three defensive boards and nabbing a steal. He just continued to push on offense as the game winded down, driving past Pacers defenders with ease to create his own shots and extend Detroit’s lead further with each basket.

The rest of the action

With Sasser clicking on offense, the rest of the Pistons — a group short on players likely to make the opening night roster — didn’t put up much offense. Umude hit six of 13 shots from the floor, including one 3-pointer on five tries, to finish with 13 points. He also had nine rebounds and a block.

Former Michigan standout Zavier Simpson, who averaged 11 points a game in four appearances with Oklahoma City last season, scored 10 points in 16:32 on the court Sunday. His 4-for-7 performance included a 2-for-4 game beyond the arc.

Amar Sylla, who entered Sunday with just three rebounds over 13 total minutes in two games in Summer League, ripped down 10 boards for the Pistons in almost 14 minutes of action.

The Pacers also sat most of their better prospects. Former Miami standout Isaiah Wong, a second-round pick last month, led Indiana with 24 points on 6-for-13 shooting, with five 3s. Former Wolvering Eli Brooks started at the point for Indiana and finished with six points, eight rebounds and two steals in a team-high 31:41 of action.

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