LAS VEGAS — The NBA’s summer circuit has been an adjustment for Celtics second-round draft pick Marcus Thornton. The 45th overall choice had scored just 8 points over Boston’s five summer league games in Utah and Las Vegas.
But on Tuesday night, Thornton tallied 21 points in 19 minutes, leading the Celtics to a 101-69 romp over the Heat.
“Getting more time, I’ve been able to get a better flow and a better rhythm,” Thornton said. “Getting those extra minutes really helped me tonight, and it was great to be a part of that.”
With the win, the Celtics improved to 3-0 in the Las Vegas summer league and earned a bye in the first round of the playoffs, which begin Wednesday.
Jonathan Holmes, an undrafted free agent from Texas, added 14 points and 5 rebounds and first-round pick R.J. Hunter added 13 points.
Heat forward Justise Winslow, whom the Celtics had aggressively tried to trade up and acquire on draft night, had 5 points in 10 minutes.
Celtics forward James Young missed his third straight game because of a hip pointer. Young suffered the injury in the first half of the Celtics’ win over the Spurs last Thursday.
He jogged some stairs at the Thomas & Mack Center on Tuesday morning and did some stretching exercises while his teammates took part in shootaround. Young said the swelling in his hip has continued to decrease.
“We’ve still got a few days left,” Young said, referring to the Las Vegas summer league. “Hopefully I can get back toward the end and just get some runs in with the team.”