John Beilein’s real NBA coaching debut comes in October.
He probably knows a little bit more about what to expect now.
Cleveland’s new coach got his first bit of practice for the real thing on Monday in the NBA’s first game of the summer — only to have San Antonio spoil his debut. Lonnie Walker IV scored 20 points, and the Spurs beat the Cavaliers 97-89 in the Salt Lake City Summer League opener.
Afterward, Beilein said there’s still some things he had to learn about the NBA game. He thought there was going to be a jump ball to begin the second quarter, only to learn the NBA doesn’t have those.
“We’re all learning right now,” Beilein said. “We weren’t as fortunate as we’d like to be today, but we’re all going to grow immensely from it.”
Drew Eubanks and Quinndary Weatherspoon each scored 13 for San Antonio, which got 11 from Luka Samanic and 10 from Ben Moore.
Walker struggled in his summer debut last year, going 3 for 16 then. He was 8 for 12 from the floor on Monday, and lauded the Spurs’ staff for the work they’ve done with him over the last 12 months.
“It’s an eye-opener,” said Walker, who appeared in 17 games with the Spurs last season after getting drafted following one year with the Miami Hurricanes. “This entire offseason, the Spurs’ development staff has been consistently on me. We’re just working and trying to get better and work on the little things. I’m blessed to be with the Spurs’ organization.”
Dylan Windler led the Cavaliers with 19 points.
“I just like the way he moves,” Beilein said. “He instinctively has a really good feel for the game.”
Malik Newman and Naz Mitrou-Long each added 16 points for Cleveland. Mitrou-Long also had eight assists.
Beilein also made the first coaches’ challenge of the summer, an option that teams are likely to have in the NBA this season on a one-year trial pending approval next week by the league’s board of governors. His challenge of a foul call wasn’t upheld.
“Could have went either way,” Beilein said.
GRIZZLIES 85, JAZZ 68
Memphis opened the fourth quarter on a 13-1 run and pulled away from the Jazz in the second game of the Salt Lake City Summer League.
Julian Washburn and Yuta Watanabe each scored 20 points for the Grizzlies, who led virtually the entire way. Ivan Rabb added 14 for Memphis, which is without No. 2 overall draft pick Ja Morant for the summer while he recovers from a minor knee surgery.
Tony Bradley had 14 points and 15 rebounds for Utah. Isaiah Cousins and Willie Reed each scored 12 for the Jazz, and Jarrell Brantley finished with 11.
HEAT 106, LAKERS 79
In Sacramento, first-round pick Tyler Herro scored 18 points and Duncan Robinson added 17 as Miami made 15 3-pointers and finished with seven players in double figures in the first game of the California Classic.
The Heat were down by 10 early and wound up leading by as many as 38 — a 48-point swing. Charles Cooke scored 15, Jeremiah Martin had 12, Nick Weiler Babb had 11 while Nick Mayo and Chris Silva both finished with 10 for Miami.
Trey Mourning, the son of Heat legend Alonzo Mourning, was 4 for 5 from the floor and scored nine points in his pro debut for the Heat.
Rosco Allen scored 13 for the Lakers. Jordan Howard and Zach Norvell each scored 11.
KINGS 81, WARRIORS 77
Kyle Guy’s 3-pointer with 2:28 left put Sacramento ahead to stay, as the Kings beat Golden State in the nightcap at the California Classic.
Wenyen Gabriel led the Kings with 22 points and 12 rebounds. Semaj Christon added 13 points and 11 assists for Sacramento, Hollis Thompson scored 11 and Guy finished with 10.
Jacob Evans scored 18 for the Warriors. Damian Jones and Jimmer Fredette each had 14 for Golden State.