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Collin Sexton didn’t record an assist in his debut as a Cleveland Cavalier in the Las Vegas Summer League against the Washington Wizards on Friday night.
However, the rookie point guard, selected with the eighth overall pick in the NBA draft out of Alabama on June 21, did put up 15 points and grab seven rebounds as the Cavaliers whipped the Wizards, 72-59.
Sexton logged a 4-of-12 shooting performance, making his only 3-point attempt, and draining all six of his free-throw attempts in 29 minutes. He turned the basketball over only twice.
“I feel like I did all right,” Sexton said. “I feel like I missed a few shots that I normally make, but that’s just getting the reps and getting the first game under your belt.”
In regards to that zero-assist thing, much of it can be attributed to the way Sexton’s teammates shot, or more appropriately, did not shoot the basketball.
Cleveland made good on only 26 of 73 field-goal attempts, shooting just 35.6 percent from the field. The Cavaliers put up a 5-of-18 performance (27.8 percent) from deep. Cedi Osman (1 of 6) and Dakota Mathias (1 of 5) were a combined 2 of 11 from the 3-point line.
The 19-year-old Sexton, who signed a four-year, $20.2 million rookie contract Wednesday, started with four guys who played in the league last season — Osman, Ante Zizic, John Holland and Okaro White.
Zizic (16 points, 14 boards) and Osman (15 points, 10 rebounds, 4 steals) were rookies for the Cavaliers last season. Holland was a two-way player, spending his time between the G League Canton Charge and Cleveland, while White sat out most of the season because of a broken foot.
Cavs summer coach James Posey termed Sexton’s debut as “great.”
“Early on, I called out some things (and) he executed well, but as the game went on, you could feel his confidence, and he started calling plays on his own,” Posey said. “And that’s what I told him. As long as you feel confident in the sets that you’re calling, just go ahead, don’t keep looking at the bench.”
Sexton said he talked to his teammates after LeBron James jumped ship for a second time from the Cavaliers, agreeing to a three-year contract with a player option for a fourth year with the Los Angeles Lakers for $154 million.
“I talked to the guys,” Sexton said, when asked what he thought of James’ departure. “We just gotta work. We just gotta work and show improvement.”
As for himself, Sexton — who will lead the Cavs against the Chicago Bulls tonight at 9:30 in a game that will be broadcast on ESPN — said his goal is to “continue to grow as a player and a person” this summer.
“And also, being able to listen,” he said. “Listen and learn because coming from high school to the NBA is totally different.”
Cleveland (1-0) set the tone early, getting out to a 22-10 lead after one quarter and led from wire to wire.
In fact, the Cavaliers’ defense, which helped produce 14 steals and six blocked shots (4 by Marcus Lee) didn’t allow Washington to cut the lead to less than 10 points the rest of the way. Cleveland limited Washington to 30-percent shooting, including 17 percent from deep. The Cavaliers outrebounded the Wizards, 51-35.
Devin Robinson led the Wizards (0-1) with 14 points and five rebounds. Troy Brown Jr. finished with 13 points and four rebounds and Aaron Harrison has 12 points and six boards.