Phoenix Suns' Deandre Ayton shines against Mo Bamba's Orlando Magic

LAS VEGAS — Mo Bamba had played against Deandre Ayton four times before Monday night, and Bamba’s teams had won all four of them.

Ayton exacted a measure of revenge Monday night, leading the Phoenix Suns over Bamba’s Orlando Magic 71-53 in a summer league game at UNLV’s Thomas & Mack Center.

When it ended, and players from both teams shook hands, Bamba congratulated Ayton.

And Bamba wasn’t pleased about it.

“Yeah,” Bamba said, “he finally got one.”

Ayton, the top overall pick in the 2018 NBA Draft, was the best player on the court, scoring 17 points as he also collected 13 rebounds.

“I’m a competitor, man,” Ayton said. “That’s what keeps my blood flowing. If the media makes it hyped, and I see it or get a glance of it or hear it, my blood starts boiling.”

Bamba, the draft’s sixth pick, tallied four points, grabbed five rebounds and blocked five shots. But he allowed Ayton to achieve optimal position under the hoop on several occasions, resulting in easy Phoenix baskets.

Playing on the second night of a back-to-back, the Magic made only 31 percent of their shot attempts.

“It teaches us a lot,” Bamba said. “This is our first back-to-back, and we pretty much let [it affect] our mind-set going into it as far as physicality and that we were tired. Coach said there’s an easy way and a hard way. For the first half, we took the easy way out.”

Orlando (2-1) will play at least two more summer league games. All 30 teams will be seeded and will be put into a tournament bracket.

Chances are the Magic won’t face anyone else in summer league play as talented or as physically imposing as Ayton is.

“He’s a huge dude,” Magic forward Jonathan Isaac said. “He takes up a lot of space. He runs the floor well. He caught a lot of lobs tonight, [had] offensive rebounds. I think he hit a jumper. So he has a good feel for the game and good all-around game.” Read his blog at and follow him on Twitter at @JoshuaBRobbins.

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