The Portland Trail Blazers tipped off its summer league season Sunday afternoon with a 93-86 win over lottery pick James Bouknight and the Charlotte Hornets.
It was Antonio Blakeney, who shined for the Blazers, finishing with 27 points, 25 of which came in the second half as he scored 20 consecutive points for Portland in the final period.
The former LSU guard went undrafted in 2017 and spent a few seasons in Chicago on a two-way contract. In 2017-18, he won the G-League Rookie of the Year award.
Following the win, Balkeney made it known that they have their minds set on winning it all at this year’s Summer League.
Blazers assistant coach Roy Roger, who is heading up the Blazers summer squad, echoed that sentiment, but added that it’s about playing hard and leaning on veteran leadership.
“If you don’t play every possession like it’s your last possession then the Championship’s not going to matter because you’re not going to win the game,” Roger said postgame. “In this format, every game counts.”
With the hard work, Portland is already seeing the results pay off.
A Blazers rookie who will gain a lot from Summer League experience is Greg Brown III.
The Blazers sole draft pick this year at No. 43 overall, finished with nine points on 4-of-8 from the floor to go with two rebounds.
Brown says he is “still settling in, getting used to the NBA game.”
At 19 years old, Brown mentioned that he has already been picking his teammates' brains, including NBA journeymen Michael Beasley along with Kenneth Faried.
The Blazers will now take on the Los Angeles Clippers at 8:00 p.m. PST on Tuesday, August 10th on ESPNU.