The first 2012 Portland Trail Blazers Summer League game is in the books.The Blazers started very slow at both ends, as New Orleans jumped out to a 17 point lead by halftime. However, the Blazers flipped a switch in the second half, outscoring the Hornets by 18 in the third quarter to take the lead. The Blazers maintained a slim lead through the fourth, holding on in the final minute to give the young guys their first win in the red and black.
Meyers Leonard was a pleasant surprise, quickly lighting up the Gameday Thread tonight. He worked hard on rebounds and defense, wasn't afraid to foul hard, hit his free throws, and was very agile overall. He finished with a well-earned double-double (14 points, 11 rebounds, 3 blocks).
Damian Lillard (25 points, 4 assists, 4 rebounds) had a slow first half, but flipped a switch in the second half, leading the Blazer comeback. He had a nice pass for a Leonard alley-oop, and a few nice drives. If you saw the first half and flipped channels, you missed the fun.
Nolan Smith started well, unafraid to shoot in the SG position. However, he rolled his ankle in the first half and, as you'd expect in Summer League, he did not return. He scored 10 early points.
Wesley Matthews was his normal self tonight. Luke Babbitt hit some threes and finished with a double-double, 19 points and 10 rebounds. Jon Diebler and Will Barton had quiet nights.
In case you're planning to watch it later, Comcast Sportsnet will replay this game at 10:30pm tonight, then tomorrow at 7am and 8pm. NBATV will replay it at 11am tomorrow. Make sure to see the second half!
Check out the box score here. The next Summer League game is Tuesday evening, 5pm, against the Houston Rockets. -- Tim