SALT LAKE CITY — Oklahoma City Thunder rookie Chet Holmgren shined in his professional debut, scoring 23 points and setting an NBA summer league record for blocks and 3s in a game.
The No. 2 pick in the draft also had seven rebounds, four assists and six blocks in 24 minutes to help the Thunder route the Utah Jazz 98-77 on Tuesday night. He became the first player in summer league history to record at least five blocks and hit four 3-pointers, according to ESPN Stats & Information research.
Holmgren, a versatile 7-footer from Gonzaga who averaged 14.1 points and 9.9 rebounds and ranked fourth nationally with 3.7 blocks per game, finished 7-of-7 from 2-point range, 4-of-6 from 3 and 5-of- 5 at the free throw line.
« Shout out to my teammates for setting me up, talking to me, just putting me in position to be successful, » said Holmgren, who wouldn’t do his postgame interview with ESPN unless Thunder guard Josh Giddey could stand beside him.
« Shout out to this guy right here, » he said, pointing to Giddey. « Double-double with assists. Great night for him, and that helped me out a lot. »
Holmgren made 4 of 5 shots in the first quarter, including three of his four 3-pointers. He sat out the first six minutes of the second quarter before finding Jalen Williams for a dunk to make it 42-22. Holmgren made six straight shots after missing his first attempt.
« The hype that he came in with, the way he played tonight was big for us, » said Giddey, who finished with 14 points and 11 assists. « Being a high pick like that, there’s a lot of pressure coming in, and he handled it as good as he could’ve. It makes my job easy playing with someone like him. He can stretch the floor, finish at the rim. He protects me, he’s got my back on the defensive end. So love playing with him. It’s been one game, and the chemistry’s only getting stronger. »
Jalen Williams, the No. 12 pick out of Santa Clara, added 17 points to help Oklahoma City spoil the debut of new Utah coach Will Hardy.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.