Fultz Gets Hurt, Sixers Rally to beat Golden State in Vegas opener

By: Jesse Larch, Sports Talk Philly Staff

The Sixers won their Las Vegas Summer League opener by a score of 95-93 against the Golden State Warriors, but the bigger loss came in the third quarter when Markelle Fultz was helped off of the court after rolling his ankle. 

The Golden State Warriors got out to an early lead, led by Patrick McCaw and Kevon Looney. Once the Sixers caught up, the first half became very evenly matched. 

The two teams traded the lead throughout the half. They also traded turnovers. Sloppy play from both teams saw the Sixers have six first half turnovers, and the Warriors were even worse with eight. 

When the teams did manage to get shots up, Patrick McCcaw had the hot hand. McCaw scored 16 points in the first half on 6-of-10 shooting from the field and he went 4-of-7 from three to lead all players at the half. 

Alex Poythress got the Sixers going with an 8-point first quarter, but he went scoreless in the second quarter. Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot contributed seven points in the first half with three rebounds, one assist, and one steal. 

First overall pick Markelle Fultz underwhelmed in the first half, with six points on 3-of-11 shooting. Fultz's draft classmate Jonah Bolden again provided energy off of the bench with a team-high nine points, seven rebounds, and two steals in 11 minutes.

Fultz came out looking dialed in the third quarter, getting to the line and hitting both shots before setting up Kaleb Tarczewski with a nice pass under the basket. 

Moments later an all-too familiar feeling crept into Sixers fans everywhere. As Fultz attempted to chase down a Warriors player in transition, Fultz rolled his left ankle on his takeoff and immediately went down on the floor. 

Fultz was helped up and could put no weight on his left foot. He went to receive x-rays on the injured ankle. Doctors later diagnosed Fultz with a sprained left ankle. Expect the Sixers to shut down Fultz for Summer League and be cautious with his ankle going forward.

Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot was injured on the same play, when he took an elbow to the mouth from the player that Fultz was chasing down. TLC required stitches after being bloodied and busting his lip open. 

With the two first round picks out for the remainder of the game, the Warriors stretched their lead to as many as 13 points in the third quarter, leading 71-58 at one point. 

The Sixers began to battle back, with Furkan Korkmaz starting to get his shots to fall and Aaron Harrison providing a nice scoring punch off of the bench. 

It was Harrison who tied the game at 78 in the fourth, when he drove to the lane, drew contact, and finished to get an opportunity at the three-point play, which he converted. 

From there, the two teams took turns holding the lead. 

Korkmaz put the Sixers up 86-84 with his third three of the night, but then Golden State batted back to take control and bring the lead to 93-88. 

Brandon Austin hit a quick three to pull the Sixers within two with 1:40 left in the final frame. 

The Sixers would get a stop, and then Larry Drew II threw a pass to the paint where Alex Poythress out-waited the opposing defenders and popped up for a game-tying lay-in.

On the next possession it was Poythress again, tying up Patrick McCaw and wisely calling a timeout before the referee could call for a jump ball, giving the Sixers possession. 

With a chance to win the game, Drew II waited for a play to open up after the timeout, using up the shot clock in the process. When Drew could not find an open teammate, he plunged towards the basket, then stepped back to create his own shot that fell with 7.6 seconds left and give the Sixers a 95-93 lead.

Patrick McCaw, who led all players with 25 points, missed the game-winning three as he shot on the run and was well marked by Aaron Harrison. 

Furkan Korkmaz led the Sixers with 15 points, making 5 of his nine field goal attempts, including 3 of his 6 three-point attempts. Aaron Harrison scored 13, Poythress had 12, and Jonah Bolden gave the Sixers their first double-double of the summer with 11 points and 10 rebounds. 

The Sixers advance to 1-0 in the Las Vegas Summer League and will play again tomorrow night against the San Antonio Spurs.