The Golden State Warriors home opener started as well as it possibly could have. DeMarcus Cousins showed up, officially signed his contract, and then sat next to Steve Kerr courtside.
That’s more important than anything that happened in the game, but the game was pretty fun, too!
It started off slow, and a bit lethargic, and who can blame the players? The game didn’t tip off until nearly 9:00 p.m., and the crowd that had packed Thomas and Mack Arena to see top overall pick DeAndre Ayton had largely dissipated.
But after that slow start, the teams started to kick things into action. Kendrick Nunn - who seems like a lock to earn a two-way contract - had 10 first quarter points, and showed a dazzling array of dribbles, drives, floaters, and jumpers.
For the Clippers, lottery pick Shai Girgeous-Alexander put on a show, playing with veteran poise and an impressive ability to control the tempo of the game.
But for the Warriors, the story was Jordan Bell. The Warriors wanted their second-year big to show some new levels to his game, and that’s exactly what he did. He started off the game playing mostly from the perimeter, taking bigs off the dribble, and setting up teammates with sharp passes.
For much of the game, he looked like a guard - there were baseline drives that ended in passes out, halfcourt steals, and coast-to-coast transition dunks. He finished with 6 points, 11 rebounds, 5 assists, 3 blocks, and 2 steals, but more impressive was how in control of the game he was. Let’s roll the highlights:
Bell goes coast-to-coast!!! pic.twitter.com/s5TPJkDSmt— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) July 7, 2018
Jordan Bell is all effort even in Summer League pic.twitter.com/9vNkFy8ExC— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) July 7, 2018
That version of Bell is very, very, very good. Boogie looked impressed!
Outcomes don’t matter too much in Vegas, but the way this one ended was pretty fun. With the Warriors clinging to a one-point lead and the shot clock winding down, Josh Magette hit a step-back three with 9.8 seconds remaining. It clinched the win, and gave the Dubs a 77-71 victory.
With the win, they move to 4-0 in Summer League, and 1-0 in Las Vegas.