LAS VEGAS — Edging out a win after a double-digit deficit is becoming a trend for the Warriors this summer.
Golden State barely scraped by again Saturday, beating the Lakers 83-77 after being down by as many as 11 in the second half.
Kent Bazemore once again led the team with 26 points after another explosive night. Close behind him though, was another of this summer’s standouts, 6-foot-4 guard Cameron Jones.
Jones finished the night with 18 points, four steals and two assists, and is shooting 48.7 percent from the field during Summer League play. But standing out on defense is what’s most important to Jones:
“The impact that I wanted to make was defensively and I think I’ve been doing that. Offense comes and goes, but defense is what I wanted to take pride in during the Summer League and I’ve been doing that well I think.”
Coming off a solid 2012-2013 season with the D-League Santa Cruz Warriors (12.6 points, 2.9 RPG, 2.1 APG), Jones was named the NBA Development League’s Most Improved Player and is making an impression this summer.
Golden State head coach Mark Jackson told SFBay that Jones has had a great summer and is a player willing to battle and compete at the highest level:
“He’s a very good player who doesn’t make mistakes. He’s tough and knows how to play. He’s a winning player, there’s no question about it.”
Trying to prove himself as a player ready for the NBA, Jones knows that all he can do is play hard and hope to get invited to a training camp whether it be Golden State or another team:
“It’s not really in my hands. That’s management and whoever else. I’m just here right now, not really worrying about that, playing ball until I leave and go elsewhere.”
With Bazemore and Draymond Green on the roster, it can be easy to over look some of the other players on the Warriors summer roster, but Coach Jackson said that he doesn’t want Jones’ ability to go unnoticed:
“When you look at our winning this summer you can fall in love with a lot of other things, but he is a guy that has everything to do with why we’ve been successful.”
While showcasing personal talent is the point of the Summer League, Jones said he understands that winning is how a person gets showcased. As long as the Warriors continue to win, they are on track to be the first NBA Summer League champions.
Jones said he wants the most amount of time to play and be looked at, and winning the summer championship is the way to do it. As far as his feelings on perhaps becoming the first Summer League champs:
“I think it would mean a lot. I saw the trophy earlier, its kinda dingy looking, but it would be pretty cool.”
The Warriors, 5-0 this summer, play the Charlotte Bobcats (4-1) on Sunday at 5 p.m. in the 2013 NBA Summer League Tournament Semifinals.