Former University of Houston star Jonathon Simmons poured in 35 points to lead the Spurs past the 76ers 95-91 Tuesday at the NBA Summer League in Utah.
The 6-6 shooting guard was 13-of-18 from the field and grabbed 7 rebounds.
Simmons was a rookie this season with the Spurs, averaging 6 points and 1.7 rebounds in 14.8 minutes a game.
A college star at Houston, Simmons led the Cougars in scoring as a junior in 2011-12, averaging 14.7 points and 5 rebounds.
He left for the NBA that year but went undrafted, instead playing with the Sugar Land Legends of the American Basketball League, where he averaged 36.5 points a game.
He then joined the D-League before finally getting a chance to achieve his dream of making the NBA with the Spurs this season.
“He’s pretty fearless. He just goes and plays, kind of like Manu [Ginobili],” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich told ESPN of Simmons. “He just dives into the game, and he competes. He really has great athletic skills.”
“He’s learning the game, and he’s a quick learner, good worker,” added Popovich. “So he’s got a chance to be a long-time player in the league if he pays attention and sticks to it.”
In other Utah NBA Summer League action, Trey Lyles (Kentucky) had a 26-point, 11-rebound double double for the Jazz in a 89-82 loss to the Celtics.
In the Orlando NBA Summer League, 2015 second round draft pick Josh Richardson (Tennessee) scored 22 points to led the Heat past Orlando Blue 84-68; and Stanford all-time career leading scorer Chasson Randle poured in 24 points to guide the Knicks over the Clippers 92-84 in OT. 2016 No. 40 overall pick Diamond Stone (Maryland) and No. 25 overall 2016 pick Brice Johnson (UNC) combined for 43 points for the Clippers in the loss.
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