Luke Babbitt sure knows how to make a grand exit.
The former Nevada Wolf Pack forward scored 22 points with four rebounds and four steals in the Portland Trail Blazers final Las Vegas NBA Summer League game on Sunday. Former Wolf Pack point guard Armon Johnson also scored 12 points with six assists in the Trail Blazers’ 83-69 victory over the Chicago Bulls at Cox Pavilion.
“It kind of stinks that it’s over,” said Babbitt on NBA-TV of the Blazers’ 4-1 record in Las Vegas Summer League games. “We were just starting to hit our groove. I wish we could still keep playing. But now I’m just looking forward to getting to training camp (in October).”
Babbitt made six of eight shots against the Bulls, including 2-of-3 from 3-point range. He had struggled from the floor over his first four games, making just 18-of-45 (.400). He also made 5-of-9 on 3-pointers in his final two games after making just 1-of-10 over his first three games.
“I’m learning where I should be in this offense,” Babbitt said. “It (Summer League) was OK. I could have done better. But I finished on a good note.”
Babbitt was 8-of-8 from the free throw line against the Bulls and was 10-of-10 in his final two Summer League games.
Babbitt started quickly against the Bulls, scoring inside for a 4-3 lead and draining two free throws for a 6-3 lead.
“Babbitt is crafty around the basket,” former NBA coach Mike Fratello said on NBA-TV.
Babbitt also hit a fadeaway jumper in the lane for an 18-12 lead late in the first quarter.
“A couple of coaches I’ve talked to here (in Las Vegas) say this kid Babbitt is going to be a pretty good player in this league,” Fratello said.
Babbitt also hit a pair of 3-pointers in the third quarter off feeds from Johnson. Johnson drove the lane and kicked it back out to Babbitt for a deep 3-pointer and a 54-48 lead. Johnson also found Babbitt open at the top of the 3-point circle for a 59-53 lead.
“He shot that one easy, no hesitation,” Fratello said. “He’s a very confident shooter. He’s got a sweet stroke.”
“Babbitt had a great day,” Portland head coach Nate McMillan said on NBA-TV. “He was looking to be aggressive. We know he can score the ball. This was good for him. He had a chance to play against some good small forwards.”
Babbitt averaged 14.2 points, 3.8 rebounds, 1.8 steals and 2.6 turnovers in five Summer League games.
Johnson also played well against the Bulls and in Las Vegas overall.
Johnson hit a 3-pointer from the left corner for a 12-4 lead five minutes into the game and his left-handed lay-up gave the Blazers a 25-13 lead late in the second quarter. Johnson also hit a jumper from the right elbow for a 56-53 lead late in the third quarter and scored on a left-handed jumper in the lane for a 76-63 lead in the fourth quarter.
“He’s played a very efficient game,” Fratello said.
Johnson had just one turnover in 32 minutes. The 6-3 guard averaged 11.6 points, 4.2 assists and just two turnovers a game in his five Summer League contests.