Chet Holmgren is back, Thunder basketball is back, and the entire squad got the job done in their first game of the Salt Lake City Summer League.
Playing his first competitive basketball game in just shy of a year’s time, Chet Holmgren displayed glimpses of brilliance as the OKC Thunder outclassed Utah Jazz, 94-85, to open their Summer League campaign Monday night.
Chet Holmgren returns to help lead the OKC Thunder past the Utah Jazz in the Summer League opener.
Chet Holmgren played 29 minutes and tallied 15 points on 6-of-14 shooting (45 percent true shooting), nine rebounds, and four emphatic blocks, which highlighted his return.
The 7’1 big man had blocks against last year’s 14th overall pick Ochai Agbaji and this year’s 16th pick Keyonte George, further establishing himself as the rim protector the Thunder needs to reach their elite defensive ceiling.
Jalen Williams, the runner-up for last year’s Rookie of the Year award, racked up 21 points on 8-of-14 shooting and four rebounds, while Tre Mann chipped in 20 points on four three-point makes to lift OKC.
The Thunder was dominant from start to finish, leading by as big as 27 points in the third quarter before the Jazz mounted a comeback to chop the cushion down to single digits in the final frame.
OKC scored 43 points in the second quarter, most off of the tenacious defense and offensive explosions by Jalen Williams and Mann. After missing his first three shots, Holmgren scored eight points in the first half, all in the second period.
Despite a solid outing, Holmgren, who injured his foot in the last offseason and has never played an NBA regular season game yet, also received “overrated” chants from the crowd in Utah during his free throws in the final minute of the fourth quarter.
Meanwhile, Jaylin Williams finished with eight points, 13 rebounds, and two charges drawn. Ousmane Dieng also chipped in four points on a lowly 1-of-11 from the floor.
Jaden Shackelford had 11 points, Jared Butler posted ten points, and Hunter Maldonado got six off the pine.
Thunder will return to action on July 5th against the Memphis Grizzlies.