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Former UB star Nick Perkins makes impression with Lakers

Former University at Buffalo basketball star Nick Perkins is making the most of his opportunity to leave a strong first impression on the Los Angeles Lakers.

Perkins started all three games in the California Classic summer league and capped the week with 20 points in a 99-97 victory against the Sacramento Kings on Wednesday.

Perkins scored the Lakers’ first 12 points of the second half and finished the game 8-for-13 from the field with seven rebounds in just 17 minutes.

The Lakers came back from a 21-point fourth-quarter deficit and won on a three-pointer by Zach Norvell with four seconds remaining.

Perkins had seven points and two rebounds in a 100-90 win against Golden State on Monday and six points, six rebounds and three assists in a 106-79 loss to Miami.

“For me, being my first summer league, I think these first two games I was rushing my shot a lot,” Perkins told reporters. “I think having two games behind me and taking my time when I got the ball on offense and trusting my teammates, it worked out well for me.”

Perkins, the Mid-American Conference Sixth Man of the Year, and the Lakers head to Las Vegas and begin play in the NBA’s biggest summer league on Friday against Chicago with the California Classic, played in Sacramento, in tow.

“It’s the summer and it’s all about grittiness and getting the win,” Perkins said. “Even though you don’t get a trophy, you still want to go out and get better. Every chance you get to compete you want to compete. I think our guys showed high character.”

The Las Vegas Summer League features all 30 teams and will offer opportunities to other former Big 4 stars. UB’s CJ Massinburg, the MAC Player of the Year, will play for Brooklyn. Former Canisius star Isaiah Reese will play for Houston. Former St. Bonaventure star Jaylen Adams, who played 34 games last season for Atlanta along with team in the G League, will play for the Hawks.

News Wire Services contributed to this report.

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