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

LAS VEGAS — Brandon Williams scored 22 points to lead the Portland Trail Blazers to an 85-77 win over the New York Knicks in the NBA Summer League Championship on Sunday.

It was Portland’s third time playing in the championship game since 2017 and its second title since.

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

Trendon Watford finished with 19 points and seven rebounds for Portland and was a unanimous pick for the game’s MVP honors.

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

“It was great, our chemistry was there from day one and I’m just proud of all these guys.”

The Knicks, with coach Tom Thibodeau on the sidelines, had five players in double figures, led by Quentin Grimes, who had 19 points.

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

Portland, who came into play third in the Summer League with 42.8 rebounds per game, overtook the Knicks by 37-32.

The Blazers, who had previously defeated New York 88-77, only found their rhythm early in the second quarter of the championship when they opened with consecutive 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 would take towards the dressing room, 41-30.

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

Portland rode their defensive tenacity to the title, but it was New York’s defense that frustrated the Blazers to start the game. Both teams came out relatively sluggish, with a dash of sloppiness as the Knicks shot 5-of-15 (.333) off the ground and the Blazers were just 3-of-12 (.250) off the field.

https://www.espn.com/nba/story/_/id/34259913/portland-trail-blazers-recover-slow-start-beat-new-york-knicks-second-nba-summer-league-title-2017 Portland Trail Blazers recover from slow start to beat New York Knicks for second NBA summer league title since 2017

Emma Bowman

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