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Nuggets 82, Celtics 69

Jabari Bird puts on show in Celtics’ summer league loss

Jabari Bird, who is a restricted free agent, is making a case for a spot on the Celtics’ roster.
Jabari Bird, who is a restricted free agent, is making a case for a spot on the Celtics’ roster.(file/Michael Dwyer/Associated press)

LAS VEGAS — Restricted free agent Jabari Bird unveiled a variety of spectacular offensive plays in the Celtics’ summer league game against the Nuggets on Saturday night. Although the second-year guard finished with 24 points, he didn’t receive much help as Boston fell, 82-69.

Bird started quickly, throwing down a 180-degree dunk that was followed in the first quarter by a steal that lead to a tough up-and-under layup.

In the second quarter, he showed off a nifty hesitation dribble before converting a layup, and later in the period threw down a violent one-handed slam.

Bird played for the Celtics on a two-way contract last season, allowing him to be with the Celtics for 45 days while spending the rest of the season with the team’s G-League affiliate, the Maine Red Claws. He received a qualifying offer from the Celtics this summer, making him a restricted free agent and thus allowing Boston to match any offer sheet he signs with another team. If the Celtics re-sign Marcus Smart, as expected, they will have just one roster spot left, and Bird is beginning to state his case.

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Semi Ojeleye and Guerschon Yabusele, who were on Boston’s roster last season, combined to go just 3 for 12 shooting with three rebounds in 43 minutes.

First-round draft pick Robert Williams missed the game with tendinitis in his left knee.

The Celtics will face the Hornets on Monday in the final game of the “regular season” portion of their summer league schedule.


Adam Himmelsbach can be reached at adam.himmelsbach@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @adamhimmelsbach.