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Summer Sixers’ comeback falls just short vs. Zhaire Smith, Thunder

The Sixers nearly overcame a massive deficit but ultimately fell to the Thunder.

2023 NBA Salt Lake City Summer League - Oklahoma City Thunder v Philadelphia 76ers Photo by Melissa Majchrzak/NBAE via Getty Images

These summer Sixers certainly have some fight in them. Philly came up just short of a 31-point comeback as they fell 100-91 to the Oklahoma City Thunder. Jaden Springer was once again the leading scorer for the Sixers with 17 points, while Tre Mann led all scorers with 23.

Here are some final thoughts on the Utah session.

It was odd to see Azoulas Tebulis play only 13 minutes tonight. Tebulis, who reportedly agreed to a two-way deal, had a very quiet three games. His best performance came in the comeback last night, where he put up two points and four boards in 13 minutes.

He got the start tonight, but only played five minutes in the first half and just eight in the second, where he had two points on two shots. It’ll definitely be interesting to see if he plays more in Vegas. That said, having watched three summer league games of Tebulis and Filip Petrusev, it makes sense that the team signed Mo Bamba.

After two impressive showings it was a rough night for DJ Steward, who shot just 1 of 7 from the field. The broadcast mentioned that he tweaked something in his foot, so hopefully that’s not too serious.

Jordan Tucker made the most of limited minutes off the bench for the second straight night. He moved fairly well off the ball and has a fairly quick release. He finished with 12 points on 3 of 5 shooting. Fan favorite Terquavion Smith added 15 points, going 5 of 10 from three.

Zhaire Smith sighting! He had a big first half for the Thunder, finishing the game with 16 points off the bench. It is very good to see him on a basketball court again. Fun fact: Tre Mann was a part of the Zhaire Smith-Mikal Bridges draft-night trade. The 18th pick in the 2021 first round was the heralded Heat first the Sixers acquired along with Smith.

That’s a wrap on the Utah Summer League. The Vegas Summer League will kick off tomorrow, and the Sixers will take the court on July 8 at 5 p.m. ET against the New York Knicks.

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