LAS VEGAS — Quentin Grimes’ goal was to “dominate” the summer league game.
He needed some time on Friday night, but the Knicks young guard prevailed in his team’s opening game.
After missing eight straight shots, Grimes started the second half and led the Knicks to a 101-88 victory over the defending Las Vegas Summer League champion Warriors at the Thomas and Mack Center.
In the presence of team president Leon Rose, owner James Dolan, trainer Tom Thibodeau, and teammates Julius Randle, Immanuel Quickley, Cam Reddish and Obi Toppin, Grimes finished the tournament with 24 points, eight assists, four rebounds, two steals and just one turnover in 32 good minutes .
“I feel like I kind of dominated or almost came close in the second half,” Grimes said. “Just try to dominate offensively and defensively by being in the right positions. It’s not always about making recordings.”
While his perimeter jumper was off most of the night — the former Houston first-round pick went 4-for-14 from 3-point range — the 6-foot-4 Grimes kept firing.
Even after scoring back-to-back hits from distance early in the third quarter to get going, Grimes wasn’t satisfied with long jumps. He attacked the basket and ended by contract, something he’s been working on this offseason to complement his 3-point shot. He hit seven of his last 12 shots and was also a strong distributor that night.
“Hopefully I will play a bigger role as a playmaker [this year] and also stick to my roots as a defensive player and as a shooter,” he said.
This is a crucial offseason for Grimes, last year’s top Knicks rookie whose progress was set back by a knee injury late in the year. Thibodeau has raved about his defense which could give Grimes a shot at a starting role in backcourt alongside newcomer Jalen Brunson next year.
He hopes to make a statement in Las Vegas in the next 10 days. With that in mind, Friday night got off to a strong start for him.
Feron Hunt added 17 points, Jericho Sims had 16 points, 10 rebounds and two blocks and Miles McBride contributed 14 points and seven assists in the win.
Moses Moody, selected in the lottery a year ago, led all scorers with 34 points for the Warriors.