Sports

Oklahoma City Thunder rookie Chet Holmgren dazzles in debut, sets NBA summer league record

SALT LAKE CITY — Oklahoma City Thunder rookie Chet Holmgren shone on his professional debut, scoring 23 points and setting an NBA Summer League record for blocks and 3 seconds in a game.

The No. 2 draft pick also had seven rebounds, four assists and six blocks in 24 minutes to help the Thunder route the Utah Jazz 98-77 Tuesday night. According to a study by ESPN Stats & Information, he became the first player in Summer League history to record at least five blocks and hit four 3-pointers.

Holmgren, a versatile Gonzaga 7-footer who averaged 14.1 points and 9.9 rebounds and ranked fourth nationally with 3.7 blocks per game, finished 7-of-7 from 2-point range, 4 of 6 of 3 and 5 of – 5 at the free throw line.

“Shout out to my teammates for building me up, talking to me and just putting me in a position to be successful,” said Holmgren, who would not do his postgame interview with ESPN unless Thunder Guard Josh Giddey could stand next to him.

“Call this guy here,” he said, pointing at Giddey. “Double-double with assists. A great night for him and that helped me a lot.”

Holmgren made 4 of 5 shots in the first quarter, including three of his four 3-pointers. He sat out the first six minutes of the second quarter before hitting Jalen Williams for a dunk to make it 42-22. Holmgren made six straight shots after missing his first try.

“The hype he came in with, the way he played tonight was big for us,” said Giddey, who finished with 14 points and 11 assists. “As a high pick like that, there’s a lot of pressure that comes in and he handled that as best as he could. It makes my job easy to play with someone like him. He can stretch the bottom and finish at the edge. He protects me, he has my back on the defensive. So love playing with him. It was a game and the chemistry just keeps getting stronger.”

Santa Clara No. 12 Jalen Williams added 17 points to help Oklahoma City spoil new Utah coach Will Hardy’s debut.

The Associated Press contributed to this story.

https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/34199358/oklahoma-city-thunder-rookie-chet-holmgren-dazzles-debut-sets-summer-league-record Oklahoma City Thunder rookie Chet Holmgren dazzles in debut, sets NBA summer league record

Emma Bowman

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