The Irish men’s basketball team and Italy opened the 2014-15 NBA season with a victory in the NBA Summer League tournament, earning their first win over a Top 10 team since joining the league in 2015.
After a 1-1 draw in the first round of the tournament, the Irish got off to a slow start against Italy’s top team, which went on to lose the next two games to fall out of the competition.
The team finished with a 3-2 record.
The Irish then won their next two meetings, defeating the defending champions, the Cleveland Cavaliers.
The Irish got the best of the Italians in the fourth game, scoring 18 points off of their 15 turnovers.
The next day, the game between the teams in the semifinals was tied 1-all.
It was a 3 point contest between the Irish and Italians.
The Italians got the ball up the floor, and the Irish converted a couple of layups to make it 3-1.
However, the next game was the difference, as the Irish rallied from a 16-point deficit to win 76-72.
They would need another close win in the second round to clinch a berth in the NCAA tournament.
The game was called, and with the score tied 1 and the teams on a 10-minute timeout, the teams went to the locker room.
A scrum broke out, and after some back-and-forth play, the two teams were separated by the benches.
A frustrated Kelly put his hand on his heart and said, “Get ready, guys.
We have to play tonight.”
The game went on without any problems for the Irish, who led by 16 points with 8:53 remaining.
The score was tied at 1 with 3:35 remaining when Kelly scored on a 3 with 5:45 remaining.
Italy, who came into the game averaging 105.8 points per game, was able to make some key plays, including a pair of 3-pointers.
Kelly scored 11 of his 21 points in the final 6 minutes of the game, and Italy took a 29-24 lead into the break.
However the Irish kept playing, taking a 38-26 lead into halftime, but the Italians would find the last 3 points of the first half.
After another late-game rally, the score was 3-point and out.
Italy went on a 6-0 run, including 3-for-3 from 3-points, to take a 36-35 lead.
Kelly had 16 points, including 6 of the team’s seven 3-pointer attempts.
The Italian bench was not pleased with their performance.
Kelly was ejected from the game and was not available for comment.
The third quarter of the Irish’s game was played in the locker rooms.
Kelly scored a career-high 20 points, while shooting 6 of 9 from the field.
The bench also was not happy with the performance.
The Italian bench ejected Kelly from the lockerroom and the game was stopped.
The third quarter was a no contest for both teams.
In the fourth quarter, Kelly scored eight of the last nine points of regulation.
Kelly finished with 23 points, six assists and three rebounds.