Blazers open with win over Utah
The Trail Blazers had a steady effort and solid second half and beat the Utah Jazz 72-63 Saturday afternoon at Cox Pavilion in their Las Vegas Summer League opener.
All eyes on the Trail Blazers focused on two incumbents, Jake Layman and Pat Connaughton, and first-round draft picks Zach Collins and Caleb Swanigan.
Layman had 13 points in 29 of the 40 minutes.
Connaughton failed to score but had a team-high six assists in 30 minutes.
Collins totaled 10 points and seven rebounds in 29 minutes.
Swanigan grabbed a team-best 13 rebounds and had a team-leading 16 points in 28 minutes.
For Utah, rookie point guard Nigel Williams-Goss, from Gonzaga and Happy Valley, came off the bench for 19 minutes and finished with two points and two assists. He was 1 of 6 from the floor
Donovan Mitchell, a 6-3 guard from Louisville who was 13th in the June draft, led the Jazz with 19 points.
Portland's next game is 5:30 p.m. PT Sunday against Boston.
The Blazers led 18-12 after one quarter.
Highlights for Portland at that point:
• Collins, the 6-11 No. 10 overall draft pick from Gonzaga, passed well and hit 1 of 2 shots from 3-point range.
• Swanigan, the 6-8 1/2 forward who was the 26th pick in the draft out of Purdue, got to eight rebounds in eight minutes.
• The 6-9 Layman, a small forward from Maryland returning for his second NBA season, sank 2 of 3 shots from beyond the arc.
At the half, Utah led 32-30. Layman had 11 points. Swanigan had 10 points and nine rebounds, both in 15 minutes. Collins had five points and three rebounds, with four turnovers in 16 minutes. The 6-5 Connaughton was 0 for 5 from the field and pointless in 14 minues.
After three quarters, the Blazers were on top, 54-44.
In the category of work-in-progress: Swanigan had trouble finishing at times, while Collins struggled some off the dribble and needs more strength to help him post up.
But Swanigan showed a knack for following the ball, and Collins' length and quick spring helped him contest and block shots.
Swanigan was 4 of 12 from the field, sinking 1 of 3 of his 3-point tries. Collins went 3 for 13, and was 1 for 4 from deep.
Each had an open dunk in the fourth quarter, when Utah never threatened.