In Game Four of Summer League, the Blazers pushed ahead of the Denver Nuggets early, then blew them out in the second half to easily win their third game. Already without Wesley Matthews and Nolan Smith, replacement starter Jon Diebler was traded to Houston earlier today in the three-way Courtney Lee transaction. However, the remaining Blazers still maintained their energy level, and Denver had no response.
For you folks at work, NBA TV will show this game at 10pm tonight. Comcast Sportsnet will replay this game at either 6 or 6:30pm (there are conflicting listings), then again at 9pm and Midnight.
Damian Lillard came out with a big target on his back for the Nugget defense. When they slowed him down in the first quarter, he simply switched to assists, getting his teammates involved. In the second half, he took care of business himself. He finished with 23 points, 7 assists, 4 rebounds, and just 2 turnovers.
Will Barton (21 points on 8-11 shooting, 9 rebounds) picked up some of the slack today, and was a recipient of many of Lillard's assists, including a nice transition dunk off a lob from near half-court. He also ran a beautiful coast-to-coast fast break.
Meyers Leonard's stats were not huge (11 points, 5 boards, 2 blocks), but his performance was solid overall. He's still showing he's a long-term project, but you can see glimpses of why the Blazers were excited about him.
Luke Babbitt had his fairly standard Summer League game, 11 points, 8 rebounds, but also added 6 assists. He was there, but rarely particularly visible. In the second quarter he banged his left knee, but returned in the second half.
Dee Bost, starting for the departed Diebler, now has a video resume he'll send to all prospective teams. He was 3-5 from three for 15 points.
Check out the box score here. Tomorrow is the last Blazer game of Summer League, a 1pm matinee against the Miami Heat. The pregame thread will be up at Noon, come by and enjoy the last basketball game before Summer really begins. -- Tim