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Las Vegas Summer League: Clippers vs Bucks Game Preview and Open Thread

It’s the last preliminary game of the week.

NBA: Summer League-Los Angeles Clipper at Los Angeles Lakers Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Just 24 hours after completing their rout of the Utah Jazz, the Summer Clippers are back in action tonight against the Milwaukee Bucks. The Bucks are 1-1 in Las Vegas after defeating the Brooklyn Nets yesterday, while the Clippers are looking to improve to a perfect 3-0 tonight.

The game will be at 7:00 PM on ESPN2 in the Cox Pavillion, at the same time as the Los Angeles Lakers take on the Sacramento Kings in Thomas & Mack Center.

The Bucks’ best player in this summer league has been Rashad Vaughn, a third-year player who was picked 17th in the 2015 draft but hasn’t had much success in Milwaukee. Still, no matter how bad he’s been in the NBA, normally players who have actually logged serious NBA minutes are a class above their summer league counterparts. Vaughn led the Bucks with 31 points on 13-18 shooting last night. The Bucks also have 2016 10th overall pick Thon Maker, who has scored just 12 points on 4-18 shooting in two games.

Milwaukee’s point guard duties will be handled by Gary Payton II, who is under contract with the Bucks for next season. They also feature D.J. Wilson and Sterling Brown, who were picked 17th and 46th in last month’s NBA Draft.

For the Clippers, depth and balance have reigned as their arsenal of players with international experience rotate in the lineup. Their staples are Brice Johnson, the 25th pick from 2016, Sindarius Thornwell, the 48th pick from last month’s draft, and Kendall Marshall, a veteran point guard with four years of NBA experience. Johnson, specifically, has been impressive and is probably too good for Summer League play.

In their game last night, the Clippers also got a variety of good contributions from the bench. 39th Pick Jawun Evans, who only joined the team on Thursday, had 5 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists in 16 minutes, while shooters James Bell and Jaron Johnson combined for 17 points on 7-12 from the field. Most notably, Jamil Wilson had 18 points on 7-8 shooting, hitting four of his five three-point attempts and having a team-best +30 +/- in 16 minutes of action.

The Clippers are presently one of six teams that are undefeated in Las Vegas, and another win today would guarantee them a top-8 finish and a first-round bye for Wednesday’s playoff games. In that case, their next game would be on Thursday. However, if they lose tonight, they’ll be in a tiebreaker situation to determine whether or not they rank in the top 8.

Every team makes the Summer League Tournament, with seeds 9-24 playing an opening round Wednesday, and the winners playing seeds 1-8 on Thursday.