July 14, 2008 - 9:00 pm
Eric Gordon’s stint in the NBA Summer League didn’t last long.
The Los Angeles Clippers’ first-round draft pick (No. 7 overall) was shut down for the rest of the competition after straining his left hamstring Saturday against Charlotte. The Clippers (1-2) have two games to go in Las Vegas.
“It was an easy decision,” coach Mike Dunleavy said Sunday at Cox Pavilion before the Clippers lost to Detroit, 75-66. “We’ll get him healed up and ready for training camp in the fall.”
Gordon said he understands the decision, though he’s disappointed to see his summer end.
“You’ve got to look at the big picture,” the Indiana product said. “I enjoyed playing with these guys. I was learning a lot, but I need to sit out and get better so I’m ready to go when training camp starts.”
The 6-foot-3-inch guard out showed flashes of brilliance in his two games, averaging 19 points and 6.5 rebounds. He was erratic with his shooting, going 9-for-28 from the floor, but his aggressiveness helped him get to the foul line 21 times where he made 16.
“He did a lot of positive things,” Dunleavy said of Gordon, who will likely spend the majority of his time at shooting guard alongside recently acquired point guard Baron Davis. “What really impressed me was how good a defender he is.
“I don’t think his missing the rest of the Summer League is a setback. Eric had four or five good practices and he played well in the two games. He got a little foundation and a chance to learn our system. He’ll be fine.”
* LOVE DEBUTS TODAY — Kevin Love, the other marquee name at the Summer League, makes his debut at 7 p.m. today for Minnesota as the Timberwolves face Dallas at Cox Pavilion.
The 6-11 forward from UCLA was the fifth overall pick in last month’s draft by Memphis. He was swapped to Minnesota as part of the eight-player trade that sent O.J. Mayo to the Grizzlies.
* LAKERS GET EVEN — It was a much better effort and a different result for the Los Angeles Lakers on Sunday as they evened their Summer League record at 1-1 with an 85-76 victory over Memphis.
The Lakers were much improved at the foul line, hitting 79 percent after shooting only 55 percent in their loss to Detroit on Friday.
They also did a better job on the boards, outrebounding Memphis 32-26.
Coby Karl led the Lakers with 16 points despite 4-for-13 shooting. The Grizzlies, who were playing for the third consecutive day — and it showed — were led by Mayo with 15 points.