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Dante Exum excellent again in Utah Jazz's summer league victory over Philadelphia 76ers

SALT LAKE CITY — OK, don't get too excited.

After all, it's just the Utah Jazz Summer League, where many of the players you'll see in the four teams' lineups here at the Huntsman Center won't ever even sniff an NBA roster.

But Utah's Dante Exum, the 6-foot-6 point guard who the Jazz selected with a 2014 lottery pick, continues to tantalize his coaching staff, teammates and fans with his obvious talent and boundless potential.

Exum was at it again Wednesday night, pouring in a game-high 26 points and dishing out 10 assists in a 100-94 Summer League victory over the Philadelphia 76ers. He had 18 points and five assists in Monday's opening-night win.

Repeat: It's the Summer League, a far cry from an NBA regular-season game.

Still, Exum looked as relaxed, comfortable and confident on the court as he ever has since arriving in Utah three years ago, and the results speak for themselves.

"I think that's the biggest thing about me playing this year," he said. "I've been working hard the whole summer and just to come out here and find that comfort (level) rather when it comes around to the preseason and trying to find it. I think that's why I'm doing this (well)."

Exum was 9 of 16 from the field, hitting 3 of 5 from 3-point range, and was 5 of 6 from the foul line. He also displayed an ability to drive hard to the basket and was repeatedly able to finish at the rim. He capped his big night with two free throws with three seconds remaining.

"I was getting into the paint, finding guys," he said. "I'm trying to learn about where guys like to get the ball, and I think that's part of my development where I need to learn to put guys in good situations where they can make plays.

"I'm definitely pleased with the jump shot, just how the 3's being able to transfer over into the game."

Jazz assistant Alex Jensen, who's serving as the team's head coach for Summer League, is pleased with the way Exum has been playing thus far this week.

"It was good. It was similar to the night before, but it wasn't as good as the numbers (on Monday); it wasn't a full game," Jensen said. "And he wasn't alone. I think when we got the (24-point) lead, we let up a little bit.

"He did a great job at times and then fell off. Hopefully, he can put together a full game and be just consistent throughout — just defensively, not so much the shots."

Jensen noticed Exum's comfort level and said it can work as a double-edged sword.

"It works two ways," he said. "Like the confidence, I think it works really well because he wants to play against the best players and do well. But then I think it also leads to that lackadaisical, especially I think when we get tired it's human nature, but kind of the coasting. But I think he is more confident.

"He did a really good job guarding (No. 1 draft pick) Markelle Fultz. It's just gotta be every possession, especially when it's not the Summer League. The margin of error is a lot smaller."

GAME NOTES: Utah's first-round draft pick, Donovan Mitchell, had another nice night with 15 points and four assists. Former Weber State star Joel Bolomboy added 10 points and five rebounds for Utah, while former Utah State guard Spencer Butterfield contributed nine points off the bench. Eric Griffin added 14 points and eight rebounds in a reserve role for the Jazz.

Fultz finished with 23 points for the Sixers and Alex Poythress had 17.

The Jazz wrap up their Utah Summer League action Thursday with a 7 p.m. game against the Boston Celtics — the franchise that lured free-agent forward Gordon Hayward away from Utah on Tuesday.

EMAIL: rhollis@desnews.com