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Cal State-Fullerton vs. Nebraska, 12.22

Nebraska forward Isaiah Roby scores against Cal State Fullerton in a Dec. 22 game at Pinnacle Bank Arena. Roby started his professional career Friday as part of the Dallas Mavericks' NBA Summer League team.

Nebraska’s first NBA Draft pick in 20 years got his first taste of professional life Friday.

Isaiah Roby was a starter for the Dallas Mavericks in the team’s NBA Summer League opener in Las Vegas, finishing with 10 points, four rebounds, two blocked shots and an assist in 28 minutes as the Mavericks beat the Brooklyn Nets 96-92.

Roby had the expected ups and downs for a second-round draft pick in his first career action, but also hit a critical baseline jumper with 24.5 seconds left that gave Dallas a four-point lead.

Roby, who was picked 45th overall in this year's NBA Draft to become NU's first drafted player since Venson Hamilton in 1999, scored his first points about 4½ minutes into the game. 

Often matched up against Rodions Kurucs, a 6-foot-9 forward who averaged nine points and four rebounds per game with 46 starts as a rookie last season for the Nets, Roby took some lumps defensively.

He also showed some flashes of why the Mavericks had him graded as a high-second round pick, making a tough layup on one end and blocking a shot on consecutive possessions in the first half.

Roby will make his second appearance Saturday night when the Mavericks play the Rockets. That game is set for 8 p.m. on NBA TV.

Another former Husker, James Palmer, made his NBA Summer League debut late Friday night, playing for the Phoenix Suns against the Denver Nuggets in a game that started at 10:30 p.m.

Reach the writer at 402-473-7436 or cbasnett@journalstar.com. On Twitter @HuskerExtraCB.

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Husker basketball reporter

A Ravenna native, Chris covers the University of Nebraska men's basketball team and assists with football coverage. He spent nearly 10 years covering sports at the Kearney Hub and nearly four years at the Springfield News-Leader in Springfield, Mo.

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