The Portland Trail Blazers atoned for last year’s loss by putting the Los Angeles Lakers in an early hole and preventing them from repeating as Las Vegas Summer League champions with a wire-to-wire 91-73 win. Impressive as the Lakers had been, they seemingly were out of gas one night after playing into double overtime.
Much like the Cleveland Cavaliers did in their semifinals matchup with the Lakers, the Blazers opened the game with hot shooting. Portland made five of their first six shots, including two from behind the arc, to jump out to a 12-6 lead.
They led by as many as 17 points in the first quarter and were ahead 31-19 through the first 10 minutes. Whereas the Cavs eventually cooled some, the Trail Blazers kept up their performance.
They had five players score in double-figures, led by KJ McDaniels who had 17 points off the bench.
The Lakers’ subpar start was directly connected to uncharacteristically poor shooting. Specifically Svi Mykhailiuk, who missed his first four shots (all 3-pointers) and had a fifth field goal attempt blocked. It wasn’t until the third quarter that Mykhailiuk made his first shot from deep.
Josh Hart, who was named Las Vegas Summer League MVP, struggled to the tune of 12 points on a mere 3-for-12 shooting. He missed all six 3-pointers but made six of nine free throw attempts. Hart’s frustrating night came to an end with just under five minutes remaining when he picked up two technical fouls.
The loss not only prevented the Lakers from a second consecutive championship but it snapped their 12-game winning streak in Las Vegas Summer League play.
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