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Dalton Knecht Records Near Double-Double in Breakout Scoring Game

Dalton Knecht
Former Vol and Lakers guard Dalton Knecht. Photo via @Lakers on X.

Former Tennessee guard Dalton Knecht broke out for his first 20-point scoring game of the Summer League slate on Wednesday night against the Heat while nearly tallying a double-double in the process.

But while Knecht did lead the team in scoring, it wasn’t enough to lift the Los Angeles Lakers to victory as the Heat made a furious comeback in the final three minutes to win the game. Knecht had a good look from the elbow for a game-tying shot in the final ten seconds but missed. The Heat went on to win by a score of 80-76.

Knecht and the Lakers now head into the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas after a 0-3 showing during the California Classic.

The former Vol made an early impact on the offensive end with an assist to Bronny James, a tough driving layup, and a pair of three-pointers in the first quarter of the game. Knecht did have a few turnovers during the 10-minute stretch but was a focal point of the Lakers’ offense.

Knecht sat on the bench for the first five minutes of the second quarter and didn’t do too much in his first few minutes back on the court. With time winding down, though, Knecht turned an offensive rebound into a three-foot crossover with 1:20 left until halftime and then followed it up with a reverse dunk in the paint with a minute to go.

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The 6-foot-6 wing began his second-half scoring with an elbow jumper following an off-ball screen and curl. A minute later, Knecht cut to the basket and found himself with an easy dunk on the Colin Castleton pass out of trouble.

It was evident to see that Knecht was more aggressive in the game using off-ball cuts and screens to his advantage. It may have taken a toll at times though as he did look gassed in the final minute of the game later on. Knecht shouldered the responsibility of being the Lakers’ only real scoring threat in the game and worked hard through the first three quarters.

Knecht played the final five minutes of the game and entered back in with the Lakers leading by five points. Knecht missed two three-point attempts to start his run before coming up short on a game-tying pull-up look from the elbow with just 10 seconds left on the clock. After a pair of free throws from the Heat extended their lead to four points, Knecht missed a 27-foot three-point heave with one second on the clock but it wouldn’t have mattered.

The former Vol recorded a team-high 20 points on 7-of-18 FG shooting, 2-of-8 three-point shooting, and 4-of-5 from the free-throw line. Knecht also tallied nine rebounds to nearly get the double-double, one assist, and three turnovers. Former Florida forward Colin Castleton scored 18 points for the Lakers and worked well with his former rival from Tennessee in offensive two-man games.

After losing both of their first two California Classic games, Knecht and the Lakers had a chance to close out the event with a win but were outscored 44-36 in the second half to lose in the final few minutes. The Lakers will now move on to the NBA Summer League in Las Vegas to continue their work in July.

Knecht’s 39 percent shooting from the floor on Wednesday is still down from his 46 percent average at Tennessee but was much better than his first two games. Knecht shot 3-of-12 (25 percent) during his first game and 3-of-13 (23 percent) in his second game, both of which he recorded 12 points in the process.

Here’s a look at all of Dalton Knecht’s highlights from his 20-point, 9-rebound game on Wednesday night in San Francisco:

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