Tagged in: trail blazers

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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Vucevic, DeRozan help Bulls beat Trail Blazers 130-116

Nikola Vucevic had 24 points and 14 rebounds, DeMar DeRozan added 23 points and 10 assists and the Chicago Bulls overcame a slow to start to defeat the Portland Trail Blazers 130-116 on Sunday.

Zach LaVine had 20 points, Coby White added 18 and Ayo Dosunmu concluded with 11 assists. Chicago has won three of four to improve to 31-18.

C.J. McCollum had 29 points for Portland. Norman Powell added 22, and Anfernee Simons had 21.

The Trail Blazers made seven of their first nine 3-point attempts for a 35-29 lead after the first quarter before the Bulls picked up the effort defensively.

“In the past, with some of the games that we lost, we understand that it was because our defense wasn’t good enough,” Vucevic said. “Even tonight, to start the game they really got going. Once we were able to get stops, we were able to build a little bit of a lead.

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“If we really want to be a really good team and have a deep push at the end of the year, our defense has to be there. We’ve shown we can do it. It’s just a matter of doing it every night for 48 minutes.”

Chicago had it clicking on the offensive end throughout, going 50 for 90 from the field.

“We let them get comfortable, and when you let a team get comfortable, particularly at home, man it’s tough to walk ’em back,” Portland coach Chauncey Billups stated. “They had 21 assists at halftime. That’s not just one guy going crazy. That’s everybody getting comfortable. They were moving the basketball, everybody was making shots, and we were never able to get them under control.”

Portland led for much of the first half before Chicago took control late. Trailing 51-50 with just under six minutes left in the second quarter, the Bulls had a 20-8 run to take a 70-59 lead. They led 73-65 at halftime, and took a 104-92 advantage into the fourth.

The Trail Blazers managed to stay within striking distance with torrid 3-point shooting. They were 17 for 33 from behind the arc through three quarters.

Chicago scored 20 points in the first 6 1/2 minutes of the final quarter.

With Vucevic and LaVine resting, Matt Thomas came off the bench to score seven points in the first four minutes of the fourth.

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Nuggets eliminate Trail Blazers in Game 6 with 126-115 win

Nikola Jokic had 36 points and the Denver Nuggets eliminated the Portland Trail Blazers in six matches with a 126-115 triumph Thursday night.

Michael Porter Jr. added 26 points, including 22 in the opening quarter, for the third-seeded Nuggets. They await the outcome of the first-round series between the Phoenix Suns and Los Angeles Lakers.

Denver advanced to the Western Conference semifinals for the third consecutive season.

Damian Lillard finished with 28 points and 13 assists for the sixth-seeded Blazers. They led by 14 points in the third quarter but couldn’t stave off elimination. Monte Morris hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to close Denver to 101-98 heading into the last period. Jokic hit a 3-pointer to put Denver ahead 108-106 and Denver stretched it to 117-108 on Austin Rivers’ 3 with 3:52 left.

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Portland tired to catch up, getting to 121-115 on CJ McCollum’s layup, but Aaron Gordon hit a 3-pointer that all but sealed it for Denver with less than a minute to go.

The Nuggets took a 3-2 lead in the series with a 147-140 double overtime victory in Denver on Tuesday night.

It spoiled Lillard’s epic playoff performance: He had 55 points, including 12 3-pointers, and 10 assists. It was the most 3-pointers ever in a playoff game.

The Blazers needed big man Jusuf Nurkic to stay out of foul trouble. Tasked with defending Jokic, he fouled out in three of the first five matches.

Nurkic didn’t have a foul in the first half, but then had four quick fouls in the third quarter and had to head to the bench.

Porter had six 3-pointers in the first quarter alone, tying an NBA playoff record for most 3s a quarter. Lillard hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Blazers a 68-61 lead at the half. He raised his arms to encourage the crowd as he headed off the floor.

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