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Jaren Jackson Jr. and Trae Young were taken No. 4 and No. 5 in the 2018 NBA Draft by the Memphis Grizzlies and the Atlanta Hawks, respectively.
The spotlight was focused on Jackson and Young when they went up against each other in the opening game of the Utah Summer League on Monday at Vivint Smart Home Arena. Jackson lived up to his billing as the No. 4 pick, scoring a game-high 29 points to lead the Grizzlies to an easy 103-88 win over the Hawks.
During his stint at Michigan State, Jackson was known as a deadly three-point range shooter. He proved that he could also do it at the NBA level, making eight of his 13 attempts from beyond the arc, including a first-half buzzer-beater from near halfcourt.
The 6-foot-11 Jackson, who won Big Ten Freshman of the Year and Defensive Player of the Year last season, also showed his defensive process, blocking two shots to go along with three rebounds for the Grizzlies (1-0).
Kobi Simmons, the Grizzlies’ second-round pick last season, tallied 21 points, two boards, and three assists while Ivan Rabb chipped in 14 points, three rebounds, and three assists for Memphis.
Jackson Outplayed Young
Young, for his part, failed to impress in his Summer League debut as he made just four of 20 attempts for 16 points. Young was known as a long-distance shooter in his career at Oklahoma, but he made just one of 11 tries from three-point range.
“I definitely didn’t want to want this, have a game like this,” Young explains. “But overall this is a process. This is just the first one. I felt a lot more comfortable in the second half.”
Young, who added four rebounds and three assists, is hopeful that his scoring momentum in the second half will be carried on Tuesday when they go up against the San Antonio Spurs.
Former Oregon standout Tyler Dorsey led the Hawks (0-1) with 18 points, seven rebounds, and four assists. Omari Spellman added 11 points, six rebounds, and two blocks in a losing effort for the Hawks.
Grizzlies Ride Hot Start To Win
The Grizzlies took a 27-20 lead in the first quarter, which they never relinquished en route to victory in their Summer League opener.
The Grizzlies relied on their outstanding shooting to beat the Hawks. Memphis shot an impressive 53 percent from the floor and 52 percent from beyond the arc.
The Grizzlies also played outstanding defense as they held the Hawks to just 38 percent from the floor and 23 percent from beyond the three-point arc.
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