Portland Trail Blazers' Trendon Watford, center, celebrates with teammates after defeating the New York Knicks in an NBA summer league championship basketball game Sunday, July 17, 2022, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
LAS VEGAS — Brandon Williams scored 22 points to lead the Portland Trail Blazers to an 85-77 victory over the New York Knicks in the NBA Summer League championship game on Sunday.
It was 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 finished 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.”
The Knicks, with coach Tom Thibodeau sitting courtside, had five players finish in double figures. Quentin Grimes scored 19 points.
Miles McBride had 17, while Jericho Sims added 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 three straight 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 (33%) from the floor and the Blazers were just 3 of 12 (25%) from the field.
RAPTORS 80, BUCKS 69
Abu Kigab scored 15 points to lead six Toronto players in double figures and grabbed 10 rebounds to help the Raptors beat Milwaukee.
Christian Vital, Ryan Hawkins and Christian Koloko added 11 points apiece for Toronto and Alex Barcell and Ron Harper Jr. each scored 10.
Lindell Wigginton led the Bucks with 11 points and Dewan Hernandez scored 10.
SUNS 84, PACERS 69
Louis King hit four 3-pointers and finished with 14 points, Tyson Carter scored 12 and Phoenix beat Indiana.
Kameron Taylor and Ish Wainwright added 11 points apiece for the Suns.
David DiLeo, Jermaine Samuels Jr. and Kendall Brown each scored eight points for Indiana.
PELICANS 107, THUNDER 71
John Butler Jr. hit six 3-pointers and scored 25 points on 9-of-9 shooting, Elijah Stewart added 20 points and nine assists, and New Orleans cruised to a win over Oklahoma City.
Dereon Seabron scored 19 points and grabbed eight rebounds for the Pelicans. Deividas Sirvydis had 17 points and Amadou Sow scored 10.
Gabe Brown hit five 3s and led Oklahoma City with 23 points. Jaden Shackelford scored 15 and Vit Krejci added 13 points, eight rebounds, four assists and two blocks.
WIZARDS 87, WARRIORS 77
Quenton Jackson scored 18 points and Jaime Echenique added 17 points and 12 rebounds to help Washington beat Golden State.
Devon Dotson and Pat Spencer added 11 points apiece for the Wizards.
Mac McClung led Golden State with 14 points and six assists. Lester Quinones added 13 points and Alex Morales scored 10. James Wiseman finished with 11 points on 5-of-13 shooting with six rebounds and two blocks.
JAZZ 82, NUGGETS 72
Jared Butler had 14 points and six assists, Justin Robinson scored 12 points and Utah beat Denver.
James Palmer Jr. added 10 points for the Jazz.
Adonis Arms was the only Denver player to score in double figures, finishing with 20 points on 8-of-12 shooting, including 4 of 4 from 3-point range.
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