The San Antonio Spurs dominated the Charlotte Hornets in a 98-77 blowout to start the California Classic in Sacramento. It was never a fair fight as the Spurs jumped out to a 21-point lead after just one quarter and kept their foot on the gas for 40 minutes.
But it wasn't just the pure dominance that made this matchup so enjoyable. Fresh and familiar faces showed out for the Spurs, leaving no doubt as to who were the best players on the court. From high-flyers to knockdown shooters, there were plenty of surprises from their Summer League debut.
Pop the Champagnie
Julian Champagnie is having a great start to July. The 22-year forward recently signed a four-year, $12 million deal to stay in San Antonio after going undrafted last season. He followed up his brand-new payday up with an unstoppable 30-point performance against the Hornets.
He started the game off hot, going 4-of-5 in the first quarter alone, and he just couldn't be stopped. Our Noah Magaro-George talked about Champagnie's ability to relocate around the perimeter, and that skill was on full display on Monday night. He took every shot he could get his hands on, going 5-of-12 from deep, including an impressive side-step three after recovering a loose ball in the corner.
Champagnie demonstrated he was the best player on the court in dominant fashion. It's easy to see why General Manager Brian Wright took a flyer on him last season and ultimately rewarded him with a full-time deal a few days ago. It should be exciting to see what the 6-foot-9 forward can achieve once Victor Wembanyama joins the lineup in Las Vegas.