Basketball

Thomas drops 20, goes 6-7 from deep as Lakers advance to Vegas finals

The Ice Man was hot again on Sunday for the Los Angeles Lakers.

Former Cyclone Matt Thomas scored 20 points, including 6-of-7 shooting from behind the 3-point line, as the Lakers advanced to the Las Vegas NBA Summer League finals with a 108-98 win over the Dallas Mavericks.

Los Angeles will take on Portland, who beat Memphis 87-82 earlier in the evening, at 9 p.m. central time on Monday.

Thomas went 7-of-10 from the field in the Lakers’ semifinal win plus grabbed three rebounds and dished out an assist. Los Angeles held a 20-point lead with 9:45 left in the game after a Thomas three, but Dallas stormed back to within two points with less than two minutes to play.

Seconds after Dennis Smith Jr. pulled the Mavs within one possession, Thomas slammed the door on the rally when he knocked down his sixth 3-pointer of the night to push the Lakers’ lead back to five despite rookie sensation Lonzo Ball leaving the game during the second half with a calf injury.

Thomas is averaging 7.7 points and shooting 55.6 percent from the field during Los Angeles’ seven games in Las Vegas. His production has increased significantly during the team’s last two games as he’s scored 18.5 points per game and is 9-of-11 from behind the arc.

Jared Stansbury

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Jared a native of Clarinda, Iowa, started as the Cyclone Fanatic intern in August 2013, primarily working as a videographer until starting on the women’s basketball beat prior to the 2014-15 season. Upon earning his Bachelor’s degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from Iowa State in May 2016, Jared was hired as the site’s full-time staff writer, taking over as the primary day-to-day reporter on football and men’s basketball. He was elevated to the position of managing editor in January 2020. He is a regular contributor on 1460 KXNO in Des Moines and makes regular guest appearances on radio stations across the Midwest. Jared resides in Ankeny with his four-year-old puggle, Lolo.

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