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July 7, 2014

Thunder fall to 0-2 to open summer league

ORLANDO, Fla. – Casper Ware is doing his best to prove to the Sixers that they made the right decision keeping him around last season.

Ware, who closed out the 2013-14 campaign with Philadelphia after playing through two 10-day contracts, notched team-highs in points (20) and assists (five) to go along with five rebounds as the Sixers (1-1) held off the Oklahoma City Thunder (0-2) for an 84-73 victory on Sunday in Southwest Airlines Orlando Pro Summer League action.

However, he wasn’t the only young talent looking to make his presence felt.

Oklahoma City’s Mario Little, a standout for the NBA D-League’s Tulsa 66ers last season, erupted for 12 of his team-high 18 points in the second half.

Steven Adams continued to build on his strong rookie campaign by scoring 12, while Andre Roberson notched 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Philadelphia’s Travis Bader also made an impact.

The former Oakland University star, who holds the all-time NCAA record for 3-pointers made in a career (504), fired off 13 points and dished out four assists.

Bader, who surprisingly did not hear his name called in the 2014 NBA Draft, flashed the steady shooting that may earn him a contract in the league, going 4-for-7 from the floor and a perfect 4-for-4 from the charity stripe.

K.J. McDaniels, a second round selection for Philadelphia (No. 32 overall), also caught some eyes, notching 13 points and four rebounds, while Ronald Roberts Jr., an undrafted free agent out of St. Joe’s, scored 12.

After a solid outing on Saturday, Philadelphia’s Nerlens Noel did not play as a precautionary measure, while Hollis Thompson sat out due to left knee soreness.

The Thunder are back at it at 6 p.m. today when they face the Brooklyn Nets. The Sixers will have a day off before returning to action against the Houston Rockets at 6 p.m. Tuesday.

On Saturday, the Thunder named Tulsa 66ers head coach Darko Rajakovic as an assistant coach with the NBA team.

Thunder general manager Sam Presti announced that Rajakovic will join the Thunder after spending the past two seasons as the head coach of the 66ers. Tulsa is the Thunder’s NBA D-League affiliate.

Rajakovic is a native of Serbia and was the first head coach in NBA D-League history born outside of North America. He led Tulsa to a combined 51-49 record over two seasons, including a 27-23 record and NBA D-League semifinals appearance in 2012-13.

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