Holmgren has strong Summer League game

Published 8:48 pm Saturday, July 8, 2023

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Chet Holmgren has taken another positive step on his surgically repaired right foot.

Holmgren had 16 points and 10 rebounds Saturday, helping the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Dallas Mavericks 91-80 in their NBA Summer League opener.

The No. 2 pick in the 2022 draft missed the 2022-23 season after sustaining a Lisfranc injury in his right foot last summer. The 7-foot-1 Holmgren returned when the Thunder played three games in the Salt Lake City Summer League before heading to Las Vegas, finishing with 15 points, nine rebounds and four blocks Monday in a victory over Utah.

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The Thunder surprisingly just missed the playoffs without him and have plenty of young talent. They added to it with the addition of No. 10 pick Cason Wallace, a guard from Kentucky who made six 3-pointers and scored 20 points against the team that drafted him and traded his rights to Oklahoma City.

Holmgren was 5 for 10 from the field in 30 minutes and blocked two shots.

Jaden Hardy scored 24 points for the Mavericks. Center Dereck Lively II, the No. 12 pick who was swapped in the trade for Wallace, had four points and five rebounds.

The eight-game schedule Saturday began with Miami, which is hoping to be watching some players who will be teaming with Damian Lillard next season, beating Boston 99-88. Lillard has told the Portland Trail Blazers he wants to be traded and the All-Star’s preference is to be dealt to the Eastern Conference champions.

Play in Las Vegas began Friday with an eventful opening night, featuring No. 1 pick Victor Wembanyama’s debut with the San Antonio Spurs and Houston’s buzzer-beating victory over Portland a game in which No. 3 pick Scoot Henderson of the Trail Blazers and No. 4 pick Amen Thompson of Houston left with injuries.