T.J. Leaf scores 12 points in summer league debut

By Pacers Media Relations Director David Benner:

ORLANDO, Fla. — The Indiana Pacers beat Charlotte, 84-77, at the Amway Center Sunday to improve to 2-0 in the Mountain Dew Orlando Pro Summer League.

The Pacers are in first place after two days with 13 points. Teams are awarded one point for winning a quarter, four points for winning the game.

For the second straight game, Travis Leslie, who played with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants last season, led the Pacers with 20 points. The game also marked the debut of the Pacers’ No. 1 draft pick, T.J. Leaf from UCLA. He played 24 minutes and scored 12 points (on 5-of-9 shooting) with five rebounds. He missed their first game to be the best man at one of his older brothers’ wedding.

“I would rate my first game as solid,” said Leaf. “It was good to get one under my belt. I know what it’s like now as far as the physicality. I don’t know if I was surprised, but now I know what to expect.”

As they did in their opening game against Orlando, the Pacers led much of this game, but never got much breathing room until the end. They played the game without three big men (Georges Niang, sprained left knee; Rakeem Christmas, sprained left ankle; and Augusto Cesar Lima, sore lower back).

See Also: Christmas, Niang missing summer league games with injuries

“That was a big, strong, physical team we played tonight,” said Pacers Summer league coach Popeye Jones. “With the three bigs out, we knew we were undersized, but we battled and fought. It was good to see T.J. Get his first action. He showed some good skills offensively.”

Joe Young had 14 points and seven assists for the Pacers as he ran the team from the point guard spot. “My goal this week is to win, show the organization I can lead the team and play high intensity defense.”

Game three for the Pacers is set for 5:00 pm ET on Monday against the Miami Heat.

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