Sasser scores 40 as Pistons beat Pacers in Summer League finale

Detroit News

The Pistons played their fifth and final game of the Las Vegas Summer League on Sunday evening without rookie forward Ausar Thompson, who watched from the sidelines after promising performances in his last two outings.

Without Thompson, all eyes were on Marcus Sasser, the 25th overall pick whose play has been overshadowed to some degree. With an increased opportunity to lead the offense, Sasser stepped up to the plate and propelled the Pistons to a 100-85 win over the Indiana Pacers.

Sasser scored 40 in his most impressive showing to date, to go with five assists. The scoring mark broke the record for the highest-scoring performance in the 2023 Las Vegas Summer League. The rookie guard from Houston struggled with his 3-point shot in the previous four games, but he remained confident from distance as he knocked down five of his nine attempts from distance. He also finished without turning the ball over after averaging 1.8 per game in his previous four contests.

Motor City Cruise forward Stanley Amide added 13 points and nine rebounds. Former Michigan guard Xavier Simpson had 10 points and five rebounds.

The Pacers were without Jarace Walker and Bennedict Mathurin, but Isaiah Wong led Indiana with 24 points on 5-of-7 from the 3-point line. Ben Sheppard added 12 points.

Sasser’s explosion is an encouraging sign for the Pistons, who traded the No. 31 pick to the Boston Celtics for the opportunity to draft him at No. 25. His fellow rookie teammate, Thompson, averaged 13.5 points, 10 rebounds, 3.5 assists, 2.3 steals and 1.8 blocks in four games.

The Pistons will now head into the heart of the offseason with hope that Thompson and Sasser will be able to contribute to their young core when called upon.

Twitter: @MikeACurtis2

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