The Portland Trail Blazers fell to the Houston Rockets 95-92 in the final game of the 2021 NBA Summer League. This loss marks the third straight loss for the Blazers, who wrap up Summer League with a 2-3 record.
The Blazers blew open the game in the first quarter, going on a 14-0 run that took the Rockets most of the game to recover from. However, the Rockets then went on a 12-0 run very late in the game, taking the lead for the first time since 6-4 on their way to the win.
The Young Players
Greg Brown III and CJ Elleby both made an impact in this game, and both showed signs of promising things to come. The Blazers’ other rookie, Trendon Watford, did not play in this final game.
Elleby played with much more effort compared to the previous game. This difference can easily be seen all over the stat sheet, as he improved in almost all basic counting stats. He finished with a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds, as well as contributing four assists, and two steals. He was much more aggressive in hunting his own shot, and although he finished only 4-10 from the field, he tacked on six free throw attempts and made five. He had four turnovers and four fouls, but those mistakes are much less glaring when taken into account all the other things Elleby did to contribute.
Greg Brown III
Brown’s athleticism was on full display in this one. He was a human highlight reel, including one of the best plays of the Summer League with a monster fast-break slam to end the first half, as well as a put-back poster late in the game. He finished with 13 points, eight rebounds, two blocks, and four dunks. Brown did about as much as could be hoped for from a played considered a raw athletic talent, and his presence was felt whenever he was on the court. The two blocks don’t tell the whole story of his ability around the rim, as he almost got to a couple of other balls when running back on defense.
The Blazers brought one of the oldest rosters in terms of average age to Summer League. Highlighting the older players on the roster were Michael Beasley, Emmanuel Mudiay, and Kenneth Faried. Only Mudiay and Beasley appeared in this game, with Faried sitting out due to injury. Both Mudiay and Beasley had a big impact in the final Summer League game.
Beasley did what he does, finishing with 16 points 6-10 from the field and 2-3 from three. He chipped in four rebounds, two assists, a steal, and a block. He played 30 minutes, and provided offense whenever the Blazers needed a spark. His hustle in this one helped the defense, and his shooting helped spark some runs early in the game.
Mudiay showed off his playmaking prowess once again in this game, finishing with eight assists to compliment his 14 points. He shot an efficient 6-11 from the field and 2-3 from three. He made a huge impact when he was on the floor, and was responsible for a lot of the ball movement by the Blazers. He also contributed seven boards.
Antonio Blakeney finished as the game’s second leading scorer with 23 points. That marks the second time in the five Summer League games that Blakeney has eclipsed 20 points — an overall impressive showing from him.