LAS VEGAS -- The threat of injuries is a part of athletics, especially for the 76ers.
Marial Shayok, Shake Milton, and Norvel Pelle are the latest examples.
Shayok sat out the summer league game Monday, an 84-81 overtime loss to the Oklahoma City Thunder, with left knee soreness. Pelle and Milton both suffered left ankle injuries in the first half and didn’t return.
“For this, everything is so precautionary,” said Delaware Blue Coats coach Connor Johnson, who’s coaching the Sixers’ summer league team. “We are not winning any championships here.”
The Sixers have a knack for resting players in summer action. Rarely does a player see action in all of the games. And they are often shut down at the slightest injury scare.
They dropped to 1-2 after the loss at UNLV’s Cox Pavilion. They will conclude the preliminary portion of the program at 3 p.m. Wednesday against the Detroit Pistons at the same arena.
Pelle suffered his injury early in the game and finished with one point, three rebounds, and two blocks in 6 minutes, 1 second of action. Milton suffered his injury with 2:40 left in the half and the Sixers trailing, 51-20.
Philly outscored the Thunder, 6-1, the rest of the half to pull to within 26 points at intermission.
One can argue this was the ugliest half by a Sixers summer-league team in seven years. They shot 22.2 percent (10-for-45) overall, made 1 of 14 three-pointers (7.1 percent) and had 12 turnovers in the first two quarters.
Milton was the team’s leading scorer at the half with five points on 2-for-7 shooting. He had four turnovers and graded out at a minus-32.
After trailing by as many as 31 points, the Sixers pulled to within three (76-73) on Zhaire Smith’s second straight alley-oop with 3:11 remaining. P.J. Dozier knotted the score at 76 with a three-pointer less than a minute later.
But Kevin Hervey went on to put the Thunder up, 81-79, after hitting a foul shot with 14.3 seconds left. Matisse Thybulle answered with a layup at the 10.6 mark to knot the score.
Smith finished with 18 points to go with two steals. Thybulle added 14 points and three blocks. Christ Koumadje contributed 10 points, 11 rebounds, and four blocks in a reserve role. And Jalen Jones added a team-high 16 rebounds to go with five points.
Hervey paced the Thunder with 17 points, 17 rebounds, three assists, three steals and two blocks.
The Sixers could have used Shayok, who was their most impressive player through the first two games in Vegas.
On Saturday, he finished with 14 points on 6-for-12 shooting in a 96-82 loss to the Boston Celtics. That came after he had a team-high 19 points while going 3-for-6 on three-pointers in Friday’s 107-106 victory over the Milwaukee Bucks.