The Portland Trail Blazers took a 12-point lead after the first quarter and cruised past the defending champion Lakers 91-73 in the final of the Las Vegas summer league on Tuesday night at Thomas & Mack Center.
Josh Hart had 12 points, two rebounds and two assists for the Lakers (6-1) before being ejected in the fourth quarter because of two technical fouls.
Teammates Jeff Ayres and Svi Mykhailiuk scored 11 and 10 points, respectively.
K.J. McDaniels had 17 points and seven rebounds for the Trail Blazers (7-0).
Portland shot 49.4% from the field and made 34.8% of its three-point shots. The Lakers were 39.1% and 14.3%.
Hart is MVP
Josh Hart was named the MVP of Las Vegas Summer League.
Heading into the championship game on Tuesday night, Hart was averaging 24.2 points and 47.1 percent shooting from the field with 5.2 rebounds and 1.5 steals a game. In the Lakers’ semifinal game against the Cavaliers, Hart scored 37 points with nine rebounds in the double overtime game.
The Lakers initially planned to use Hart sparingly in Summer League. The second year guard started 23 games his rookie season and became a staple part of the team’s rotation.
Hart, though, wouldn’t hear of it. He wanted to play as long as the Lakers were alive in the tournament.
“It says to me that he’s a champion and a winner and one of the most competitive guys that I’ve been around,” Summer League coach Miles Simon said. “He’s a guy you want in your organization for a long time because of those values and those traits.”
Hart follows Lakers point guard Lonzo Ball, who was named Summer League MVP last season.
Ball on the mend
Ball had what the Lakers called successful arthroscopic knee surgery on Tuesday. He is expected to be fully healthy for training camp.
The surgery was to his left knee. While Ball has had injuries to his meniscus and his MCL as well as a bruise to his left knee, it is unclear which of those injuries the surgery repaired.
The meniscus tear was the latest in the series of injuries. Ball missed 24 games last season with his knee injuries and six more with a shoulder sprain. In early May, Ball had a platelet-rich plasma injection into his left knee to help further heal it.
Staff writer Tania Ganguli contributed to this report.