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Mills, Babbitt Shine In First Summer League Victory

  1. Written by: caseyholdahl

    The Portland Trail Blazers got their summer league off to a great start Sunday, beating the Houston Rockets 84-67 at COX Pavilion on the campus of UNLV in Las Vegas.

    Five Trail Blazers scored in double figures, with rookie Luke Babbitt leading the way with 13 points on 5-for-9 shooting in his debut as a Trail Blazer. Fellow rookie Armon Johnson, who played with Babbitt at Nevada, added 8 points, 4 steals, 3 rebounds and 2 assists.

    Patty Mills, playing his first extended minutes as a Trail Blazer since breaking his foot before the start of last year's summer league, flirted with a triple-double in just 26 minutes of play. Mills finished the contest with 12 points, nine assists and seven rebounds while showing off the blazing speed he has become known for while playing for the Australian national team.

    The second-year forward duo of Dante Cunningham and Jeff Pendergraph combined for 19 points and 13 rebounds. Ekene Ibekwe, who played last season for Turkish club team Banvit, shined off the bench, ending the game with 10 points, eight rebounds and a game-high five rebounds.

    The Trail Blazers continue their five-game summer league campaign on Tuesday with a game against the New Orleans Hornets. Tipoff is scheduled for 7 PM.

    Photo Gallery || Video: Canales, Johnson Interview || Video: Mills Interview || Sound Off: Who Impressed You?

    The Portland Trail Blazers kickoff their 2010 Las Vegas Summer League campaign at COX Pavilion on the campus of UNLV against the Houston Rockets on Sunday, July 11. Tipoff is scheduled for 3 PM.

    The Trail Blazers will be lead by second-year players Dante Cunningham, Jeff Pendergraph and Patty Mills. Cunningham, in his second season out of Villanova, averaged 18.3 points, 5.8 rebounds and 1.5 steals in four games during last year's summer league. Pendergraph played in all five of Portland's summer league games last year, averaging 10.8 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1.2 blocks. Mills missed the 2009 summer league due to a broken foot sustained during practice.

    Cunningham, Pendergraph and Mills will be joined by rookies Luke Babbitt and Armon Johnson, both of whom were acquired or selected by the Trail Blazers during the 2010 NBA Draft. Elliot Williams, who was selected No. 22 overall by Portland, will be with the team but will not play due to a knee injury. Portland's entire summer league roster can be found here.

    Kaleb Canales will coach Portland's summer league team. He served last season as an assistant coach on Nate McMillan's staff, and was previously the team's video coordinator.

    Sunday's game can be seen locally on Comcast Sportsnet Channel 37 with Mike Barrett and Mike Rice calling the action. Brian Wheeler and Kenny Vance will have the radio call on 95.5 The Game.

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