Ex-Cat Orton struggles again in summer league

July 7, 2010 

Former University of Kentucky center Daniel Orton had another tough afternoon Tuesday at the Pro Summer League in Orlando, Fla.

Orton, a first-round draft pick of Orlando, shot 0-for-6 from the field while contributing two points, two rebounds, one assist, and one blocked shot in 171/2 minutes as the Utah Jazz beat the Magic 78-73. Orton scored his only points at the free-throw line, where he shot 2-for-4.

"He has to pick up his energy, in my opinion," Patrick Ewing, the Magic's head coach for the summer league, told the Orlando Sentinel.

"He has to act like he wants the ball down there. He's a big man. He has a big body. You've got to demand the ball, demand it with your presence, demand it with your mouth. If the guys are missing him, then say something to them. We need for him to dominate. We need for him to get 10-plus rebounds, double-figure points. If we're going to win, he has to dominate along with the guys on the perimeter."

Orton told the paper he's having fun, but he acknowledged that Tuesday wasn't his best day.

"I struggled again today," Orton said. "I think I shot a couple of air balls, and I'm really struggling on offense right now. I'm just trying to pick up on defense and hopefully that can carry me through."

Orton finished 1-for-8 in his summer league debut against Indiana on Monday and was ejected from that game for scuffling with an opponent.

Former Ohio State player Kosta Koufos had 13 points and 11 rebounds for Utah. Teammate Gordon Hayward, a rookie from Butler, had 14 points. Jeremy Evans, a second-round pick out of Western Kentucky, had six points and two rebounds.

Patrick Ewing Jr. led the Magic with 17 points.

Former UK player Joe Crawford, a member of Orlando's summer team, did not play Tuesday.

Summer league highlights

■ Former UK star Jodie Meeks scored 18 points to lead the Philadelphia 76ers to an 86-69 victory over the Boston Celtics. Meeks was 6-for-11 from the field and 4-for-4 from the free-throw line. He also had two steals and two assists. Evan Turner, the 76ers' top pick, had 13 points and four assists.

■ Terrence Williams, who starred at Louisville, scored 24 points to lead the Nets past the Pacers 80-69. New Jersey's top draft pick, Derrick Favors, had 12 points and three rebounds.

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