The Portland Trail Blazers take over the New York Knicks to clinch the NBA Summer League Championship on Sunday.
Trail Blazers earned their first iteration of championship rings with an 85-77 victory over New York Knicks. An undrafted second-year forward Trendon Watford earned the MVP award after claiming 19 points, seven rebounds, and three steals. However, Brandon Williams became the highest points scorer with 21 points, five assists, three rebounds, and one steal.
Jabari Walker led the Trail Blazers with 11 rebounds during the win. He finished with 14 points, three steals, and two assists. Walker was taken by the Trail Blazers in the second round (at pick No. 59 overall) of the 2022 NBA Draft from Colorado.
During the regular season, the Trail Blazers used both Williams and Watford. Williams started 16 of the 24 games he played in for the Trail Blazers last year. He had a 12.9 point, 3.1 rebounds, 3.9 assists, and 1.0 steal per game average. Watford played 48 games for Portland last season while averaging 7.6 points, 4.1 rebounds, and 1.7 assists.
New York Knicks displayed a challenging game against Trail Blazers and fought for the victory till the last moment. Knicks were backed by five crucial players who finished with double-figures on Sunday.
Guard Quentin Grimes led the Knicks with 19 points, three assists, three rebounds, and a steal. Mile McBride finished with 17 points and Jericho Sims scored 13 points to finish at second and third position respectively. Feron Hunt and Micah Porter scored 10 points apiece to sum up the Knick’s effort.
Portland dominated the Knicks 29-16 in the second half to pull ahead 41-30 at halftime after a close first quarter.
The Knicks made a late charge but fell short of completing the turnaround as the Trail Blazers established a 14-point lead in the fourth quarter. The Knicks attempted a late comeback in the fourth quarter with a 14-point disadvantage but failed.
After losing the first game, the Trail Blazers won three successive matchups to get to the championship game where they would play the Knicks and former first-round selection Grimes, who is playing in his second NBA season.
Portland Trail blazers received their trophy and championship rings. The rings worth more than $20,000 were presented to Watford, other teammates, and coaches during the ceremony.