Josh Hart scored 37 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead the Lakers to a 112-109 double-overtime victory over the Cleveland Cavaliers on Monday in the semifinals of the NBA Summer League.
The Lakers advanced to the championship game for a second straight year after winning the 2017 title behind game MVP Kyle Kuzma and league MVP Lonzo Ball.
The Lakers will play the winner of the second semifinal between Portland and Memphis.
Xavier Rathan-Mayes made the play of the game when he snatched a loose ball and fed Jeff Ayres with a pretty touch pass under the basket with 45 seconds left in the second overtime. Rathan-Mayes followed Ayres’ layin with a slashing layup to put the Lakers up 110-106 with 22 seconds left.
Cleveland’s Billy Preston missed a three-pointer at the buzzer.
Svi Mykhailiuk scored 31 points for the Lakers (6-0), while Ayres added 20.
Collin Sexton led the Cavaliers with 27 points, while Jamel Artis and John Holland each scored 17.
With the Lakers trailing 105-102 in the first overtime after Sexton made a short jumper, Rathan-Mayes buried a three-pointer to tie the score. Hart made it 106-105 by hitting the second of two free throws with 5.7 seconds remaining. Sexton did the same at the other end, splitting two free throws and tying it at 106 with 3.3 seconds left.
The Cavaliers (5-2) erased an early 11-point deficit and tied the score at 95, when Vladimir Brodziansky buried a three-pointer with 2:00 left in regulation.
After Mykhailiuk made one of two free throws to give the Lakers a 96-95 lead with a little more than a minute left, Hart grabbed a defensive rebound and at the other end dished to Mykhailiuk, who hit a running jumper just above the free-throw line to push the lead to 98-95.
But Sexton answered with a three-pointer to tie the score with 26 seconds left. Hart missed a three-pointer with 3.0 seconds left, and Sexton missed one from long range at the buzzer.
The Lakers went on an 18-2 run to take a 28-17 lead led by Mykhailiuk, who was four for four from long-range in the first quarter. The Lakers shot 50%t (nine for 18) in the opening period and was five for nine (55%) from beyond the three-point line.
Hart took over in the second quarter, scoring 10 of his 14 first-half points to help the Lakers take a 50-47 lead at halftime.