Lofton Jr. puts on show in Grizzles’ summer league loss to thunder

Memphis Grizzlies forward Kenny Lofton Jr. (6) drives to the basket against Oklahoma City...
Memphis Grizzlies forward Kenny Lofton Jr. (6) drives to the basket against Oklahoma City Thunder forward Chet Holmgren during the first half of an NBA summer league basketball game Wednesday, July 6, 2022, in Salt Lake City. (AP Photo/Jeff Swinger)(Jeff Swinger | AP)
Published: Jul. 6, 2022 at 10:19 PM CDT|Updated: Jul. 7, 2022 at 9:39 AM CDT
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MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - Rarely is Summer League basketball truly appointment TV, but Wednesday night was an exception.

The Grizzlies played in their second Summer League game against an Oklahoma City Thunder team featuring the number two overall pick in June’s draft, Chet Holmgren.

Holmgren had a spectacular debut on Tuesday night.

The Grizzlies rested a big group of players on the second night of a back-to-back, including Ziarie Williams, Xavier Tillman Sr., and draft picks Jake LaRavia, David Roddy, and Kennedy Chandler.

Undrafted free agent Kenny Lofton Jr. picked up the slack. Lofton and Holmgren were actually teammates on the USA U19 team that won the FIBA World Cup in 2021, and Lofton Jr. made sure to go right at his former teammate early and often.

Lofton Jr. is six inches shorter than Holmgren, but 80 pounds heavier. He frequently took him down low and used his strength advantage in the post.

The Lousiana Tech product’s most sensational play of the night came early in the third quarter when he connected on a prayer of a three-point shot from well beyond the line to beat the shot clock.

The Thunder would eventually pull away to win 87-71.

Memphis will finish the Salt Lake City portion of their Summer League schedule on Thursday against the Utah Jazz.

The Grizzlies will then head to Vegas Summer League on Friday.

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