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Former William & Mary men’s basketball standout Marcus Thornton enjoyed his best NBA Summer League game Tuesday, helping the Boston Celtics wrap up preliminary play as one of just five perfect teams in Las Vegas.
The Tribe All-American poured in a game-high 21 points in a 101-69 victory over the Heat on Tuesday.
“I was just trying to be myself,” Thornton said of the performance. “I was able to score the ball and get it going a little bit. I have to thank my teammates and how we played together. We have played together this whole tournament, so it was a good day.”
Like he was throughout his W&M career, Thornton was efficient in scoring his 21 points on 5-of-8 shooting from the field. Thornton knocked down his first four shots from the field and finished a perfect 2-of-2 from 3-point range.
He also attacked the rim against the Heat, drawing fouls and finishing a perfect 9-of-9 from the charity stripe. The Upper Marlboro, Maryland, native added a pair of assists compared to just one turnover and tallied two steals in 19 minutes of action.
“[Thornton] hasn’t really had [a breakout game] yet, and I wanted to give him a chance early,” Celtics Summer League Coach Micah Shrewsberry said. “He can play with the ball and he can play without it. He’s really explosive with the ball.”
Check out some of Thornton’s highlights from the game with Miami below.
With their perfect 3-0 mark in the Vegas Summer League, Thornton and the Celtics are the No. 2 seed in the Summer League Playoff bracket. Boston received a first-round bye and will play on Thursday, July 16, at 10:30 p.m. ET on NBATV against the winner of Portland and Minnesota.
The second-round winner advances to the quarterfinals on Saturday, July 18, at 4 p.m. ET on NBATV, while the other team will close out Summer League play in the consolation bracket at 10:30 p.m. ET on Friday, July 17.
The semifinals are set for 6 p.m. Sunday with the championship at 9 p.m. Monday. All of Boston’s remaining Vegas Summer League playoff games will be televised on NBATV.
Overall, Thornton has appeared in all six Celtics’ Summer League games, including three in both Utah and Las Vegas. On July 7 in Utah, Thornton enjoyed his best game, tallying seven points, three rebounds and two steals in 22 minutes off the bench against the Philadelphia 76ers.
Thornton was a second-round selection of the Celtics in the 2015 NBA Draft. He was the ninth NBA Draft pick in W&M history and the first since 1985. His pick at No. 45 overall is the highest for a Tribe player since 1961.
W&M’s all-time leading scorer, Thornton was the first Tribe player to be named CAA Player of the Year after averaging 20 points per game last season. He was also selected as an Associated Press All-American after leading the Tribe to its second straight 20-win season for the first time in 64 years.