Tagged in: summer league

Portland Trail Blazers recover from slow start to beat New York Knicks for second NBA summer league title since 2017

Brandon Williams scored 22 points to lead the Portland Trail Blazers to an 85-77 triumph over the New York Knicks in the NBA summer league championship on Sunday.

It marked the third time Portland played in the championship game since 2017, and its second title since.

The Trail Blazers got 36 points from their reserves, led by Jabari Walker, who concluded with 14 points and 11 rebounds.

Trendon Watford finished with 19 points and seven rebounds for Portland and was a unanimous choice for game MVP honors.

“They made a run in I think the late third or the fourth,” Watford said. “We stuck together and when we came back in, we turned it up and I’m just proud of all these guys, man.

“It was big-time, our chemistry came together since day one and I’m just proud of all these guys.”

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The Knicks, with coach Tom Thibodeau sitting courtside, had five players finish in double figures, led by Quentin Grimes, who scored 19 points.

Miles McBride scored 17 points, while Jericho Sims contributed with 13 and Feron Hunt and Micah Potter each chipped in with 10 for New York.

Portland, which came into the game ranked third during the summer league with 42.8 rebounds per game, outrebounded the Knicks 37-32.

The Blazers, who defeated New York 88-77 earlier in the event, didn’t find their rhythm until the start of the second quarter of the championship, when they opened with back-to-back-to-back 3-pointers that gave them a 21-14 lead. They went on to hit seven 3-pointers in the quarter to build an 11-point lead they’d take heading into the locker room, 41-30.

The Blazers pushed their lead to 16 in the third quarter, with a 60-44 lead built on the strength of 10 points at the rim.

Portland rode its defensive tenacity to the championship, but it was New York’s defense that frustrated the Blazers to start the game. Both teams came out relatively sluggish, with a splash of sloppiness mixed in, as the Knicks shot 5-of-15 (.333) from the floor and the Blazers were just 3-of-12 (.250) from the field.

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New Orleans Pelicans draft pick E.J. Liddell suffers torn ACL in right knee, out indefinitely

New Orleans Pelicans second-round pick E.J. Liddell suffered a torn ACL in his right knee during Monday’s summer league contest and will be out indefinitely.

Liddell went down in the third quarter of the game against the Atlanta Hawks when his right knee buckled underneath him. In two games in Las Vegas, Liddell averaged 4.5 points and 4.0 rebounds.

The Pelicans feared the worst as soon as the injury happened on Monday as he was carried off the court by teammates.

An MRI on Monday night in Las Vegas confirmed the injury.

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Liddell, who spent three years at Ohio State, had a first-round grade for the 2022 NBA draft from many draft experts including ESPN’s Jonathan Givony, who had him as the No. 21 overall prospect. However, Liddell slid to the Pelicans at No. 41 overall.

Liddell was a third-team All-American during the 2021-22 college season while also being named to the All-Big Ten first team and All-Big Ten defensive team first team. He averaged 19.4 points, 7.9 rebounds, 2.5 assists and 2.6 blocks per game in 32 games for Ohio State last year.

New Orleans has 15 guaranteed contracts on its roster after 14 carried over from 2021-22 and the team selected Dyson Daniels with the No. 8 pick in the draft.

The Pelicans could free up a space for a contract for Liddell or slot him into one of their two-way spots.

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Orlando Magic shut Paolo Banchero down for remainder of 2022 NBA summer league

Paolo Banchero showed the Orlando Magic plenty in his two Summer League contests. And the Magic decided that was enough.

The No. 1 pick is getting the rest of summer league off, after averaging 20 points, six assists and five rebounds in his two matches in Las Vegas.

The Magic made the decision so they could evaluate other players who are with them this summer and see who may merit a roster spot or G League opportunity.

“I want to give these other guys an opportunity to play, to kind of be able to show what they’re capable of doing,” Magic coach Jamahl Mosley said.

“That’s the point of summer league, you know, give them a chance … an opportunity for these other guys to see what they’re capable of doing. And we’ve seen what Paolo was capable of doing.”

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The Magic are also expected to give Admiral Schofield and R.J. Hampton the remainder of summer league off, which opens up even more minutes for players to get opportunities in Las Vegas. Mosley stated Banchero got all he needed out of the summer experience.

“His understanding of what he needs to do in certain situations, the concepts that we’re preaching offensively and defensively, he’s grasping on to those,” Mosley said.

“Watching film together, he’s observing those things. He explains to me the things that he sees on the floor. It’s only two games, but you’re watching those film sessions and you realize how he’s registering all of it. So that’s how you can make the judgment that it’s time let these other guys get those moments.”

Meanwhile, San Antonio Spurs guard Josh Primo was ruled out of Monday’s game versus the Houston Rockets after he entered the NBA’s health and safety protocols.

Primo, who averaged 15 points and 4.5 assists in two games in Vegas, will likely miss the remainder of summer league

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