And thousands of Phoenix Suns fans roared.
In that one moment, they saw a glimpse of what their team’s future may look like. The No. 1 pick in this year’s draft made his debut at the NBA Summer League on Friday night, and he walked off a winner as the Suns topped the Dallas Mavericks 92-85.
Ayton played 22 minutes, scoring 10 points on 4-for-6 shooting, with the alley-oop in the opening minutes being his first basket. He also grabbed eight rebounds, blocked a shot and committed five fouls.
“A lot of energy,” Ayton said, when asked for the takeaway from his first NBA game – albeit just of the summer variety. “I could feel the energy around.”
“They showed up,” Ayton said. “Some of these guys, they’re vets, they execute plays. They’re loud, vocal,” Ayton said. “I felt very comfortable.”
Jalen Jones scored 16 points and Dennis Smith Jr. added 14 for Dallas (0-1). Luka Doncic did not play for Dallas, as he still awaits his clearance from his Real Madrid deal – which has to arrive before he can sign his contract with the Mavericks.
“I’m just excited to be here,” Doncic told ESPN in an in-game televised interview.