Heat was defeated by Lakers 100-66 in the summer league opener, with Nikola Jovic unsuccessful in debut

Pedigree sided with the Los Angeles Lakers during Saturday’s summer league opener in San Francisco. Shooting was clearly not on the side of the Miami Heat, in what turned out to be a 100-66 loss at Chase Center, home of the Golden State Warriors

Against a summer roster that included Hall of Fame forward Scotty Pippen Jr. and Shareef O’Neal, son of former Heat center Shaquille O’Neal, the Heat shot 5 out of 18 from the field in the first quarter, 9 of 44 in the first half, closing at .280 of the field.

“It’s a rough score to watch,” said Heat assistant coach Malik Allen, who heads the team’s summer roster.

The Heat will play its three games at the California Classic with a bit of a B team, with Omer Yurtseven and Marcus Garrett to join the roster for the upcoming Las Vegas Summer League in a week’s time.

“We just didn’t get into a good rhythm,” said Nikola Jovic of Heat’s first round. “Our whole team was a little off.”

In his NBA debut, Jovic started as a forward and finished with three points on 1-on-6 shooting and three rebounds in 20:39. The Serbian 19-year-old missed his first four shots before converting a three-pointer in the third quarter.

“I know he wanted to play better,” Allen said. “I just think it went really fast.”

Jovic signed his four-year rookie-scale contract prior to the game.

“I told him to hold his head up,” Allen said. “He was frustrated. That learning curve will stay there for him.”

Jovic said it was a first step towards something better.

“I missed a few shots,” he said. “Defensively, I think I was okay.

“At the moment I don’t know exactly where my place is. We are still learning where I fit.”

When he put down his first NBA contract shortly before the game, he said: “I still can’t believe that.”

Other Heat starters included Haywood Highsmith, Javonte Smart and Mychal Mulder for 2021-22, with unwritten center Orlando Robinson completing the first five.

Highsmith added 11 points for the Heat, converted three three-pointers and also grabbed eight rebounds.

“He was good, competed on both sides of the floor,” Allen said of Highsmith. “He was one of the bright spots.”

Smart scored 13, but was 1 of 8 on 3-pointers. Mulder closed 3 of 10 for seven points.

Pippen scored 12 for the Lakers, with O’Neal adding six points and six rebounds.

Among those in attendance to support Heat’s summer squad was Heat guard Gabe Vincent, who earlier this week had guaranteed his $1.8 million salary for next season.

The game featured the NBA’s first assessment of a take foul when the Heat was called up for intentional fouls to stop play amid a Lakers transitional possession in the first half. That led to one free throw by Lakers, with Los Angeles retaining possession.

The NBA is experimenting with the rule during the summer league, with possible implementation next season.

The Heat’s summer roster then plays against a similar roster of rookies, draft picks, young players, prospects and free agents from the Sacramento Kings at 5 p.m. Eastern Sunday (NBA TV).

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *