LAS VEGAS – The first-round picks in last month's draft, Zhaire Smith and Landry Shamet were expected to be the 76ers' headliners for the summer league.
However, Furkan Korkmaz wrestled the spotlight away from them early Friday night and wouldn't give it back.
The second-year swingman scored a game-high 40 points in the 95-89 loss to the Boston Celtics at the Thomas & Mack Center. It was third highest single-game point total in the history of the Vegas tournament.
Smith added seven points, while Shamet had six before suffering a game-ending sprained right ankle late in the second quarter. He landed awkwardly, re-aggravating an injury suffered during his predraft workout with the Sixers on June 19. The 26th overall pick was not made available to media following the game. Nor did the team know his availability for Saturday night's game against the Los Angeles Lakers at Thomas & Mack.
But long before his injury, Korkmaz established himself as the best player on the floor.
"What is not to like?" said Sixers assistant coach Kevin Young, who is coaching the Sixers summer team. "He was awesome."
Hot from the start, Korkmaz scored 13 of his team's first 15 points. The 20-year-old went on to make 8 of 14 three-pointers. Getting to the foul line often, he converted 12 of 15 free throws. Korkmaz also had six rebounds and two assists in 28 minutes, 51 seconds.
But he didn't appear satisfied.
"We lost the game," he said. "If we win the game, obviously I would like to talk more about my individual performance. But I think as a team, we fought really well.
"Individually, I feel more confident on the court."
Meanwhile, Smith is adjusting to playing shooting guard.
Smith, who's 6-foot-2 ¾ without shoes, stood out at power forward in his one season at Texas Tech. He played center at Lakeview Centennial High in Garland, Tex., a suburb of Dallas. And it showed on Friday.
In the beginning, he didn't move well without the ball and was indecisive on offense. However, he was a pest on defense and had one steal to go with two assists.
Smith said he needs to work on not shifting while in the corner and keeping adequate spacing on the floor. But after he settled down, the 19-year-old made a couple of athletic layups while shooting 3-for-7.
"I just have to continue doing what I do," said Smith, who was drafted 16th overall by the Phoenix and traded to the Sixers on draft night.