The reigning Las Vegas Summer League Champions, the Los Angeles Lakers, lost to the Portland Trail Blazers, 91-73 on Tuesday night in the Summer League Championship finals.
NBA Summer League Finals: Los Angeles Lakers Lose To Trail Blazers, 91-73
The Lakers were coming into this game with 6-0 record, gaining momentum throughout every game for these past two weeks in Las Vegas. The night before the championship game, the Lakers played against the Cleveland Cavaliers in a nail-biting double-overtime victory, 112-109.
Championship Game Recap
The Lakers kicked off their second straight Summer League championship game with a rematch against the Blazers. It was an ugly first half for the Lakers, they were being outscored and outplayed by Portland. It seemed as if the Lakers were scrambling on every possession. The recently named Summer League MVP, Josh Hart, had only 8 points by the end of the half. The Lakers offense was struggling, shooting 37.5% compared to Portland’s 51.3%. The half ended with the Lakers down by 17 points, 50-33.
To start the third quarter, Lakers center Jeff Ayres, got off to a good start, but the Lakers never recovered. Portland expanded their lead getting open shots and taking advantage of the Lakers’ disorientation. With only 4:45 left in the fourth quarter, Summer League MVP Hart was ejected from the game for scrutinizing the officials. Hart ended the night with 12 points, 2 rebounds, and 2 assists.
Lakers Lose Yet Still Gain
Despite losing in the Summer League finals, there are positive elements that the Lakers can look forward to this season.
First of all, we get to see the Lakers successful scouting and smart use of their late draft picks. There are definitely stand out players from this year’s draft and of course, from last year, specifically Josh Hart. Hart was the 30th pick in the NBA draft last year and has unquestionably played as a top 10 pick. In Summer League he led all players in scoring with 24 points, shooting 47% from the field, and averaged 5 rebounds.
Lakers guard Svi Mykhailiuk, also had a successful run in Summer League being named to the All-NBA Summer League second team. Mykhailiuk averaged 16.6 ppg, shooting 48.3% from the field. Not bad for the 47th pick in this year’s NBA draft.
The purple and gold might have lost the Summer League championship game, but they have gained so much more. Without counting the acquiring of LeBron James, the Lakers are setting themselves up for a deep bench this upcoming season, with a host of potential players