Dallas fell 95-83 to the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday evening in Las Vegas Summer League. Antonio Blakely routed Dallas nearly by himself, pouring in 28 points and dishing out four assists. Kyle Collinsworth led Dallas in defeating, chipping in 14 points and grabbing 10 rebounds. The Bulls sizzled from behind the arc, hitting 45% of their attempts. Dallas, on the other hand, hit just 28% of their threes and barely over 40% from the field over all.
The summer Mavericks looked spry early and often during the opening quarter, jumping ahead of the summer Bulls and not letting up for the entire frame. Brunson looked crisp and in command, leading the Maverick offense with four points (a three and a free throw) along with three assists. That quick start carried over to his teammates eight other Mavericks scoring during the period. Newcomer Manu Lecomte came off the bench to score five points, dish out two assists and get one awesome steal after a made basket. Dallas took a 28-15 lead into the second quarter.
Everything that worked in the first didn’t in the second. A Jacob Wiley turnover at the top of the key led to a Bulls dunk from Chandler Hutchson, then Josh Adams blew a dunk in transition. The Bulls, down 13 to start the quarter, went on a massive double digit run and took the lead at 36-35 with a few minutes left in the quarter. Brunson was the only real positive force in the quarter, scoring four more points and getting two more assists. The Mavericks tied the game twice but a putback dunk from Wendell Carter Jr. just before the half allowed Chicago to take a 42-40 lead into the half.
The third quarter nearly got away from Dallas a few times but they hung around some after losing momentum in the second quarter. Both squads traded threes in the early portion of the quarter, but Dallas started missing and the Bulls did not. After a parade of free throw attempts the Chicago lead got to as high as 11 before a Josh Adams three stopped the slow bleed. Dallas had attempts to cut the lead down more, including one possession where they missed four distinct looks at the rim, but they could not. The Mavericks trailed 61-67 heading into the final period.
Dallas opted to go with the Kyle Collinsworth experience in the fourth. Collinsworth was the focal point for the Dallas offense and while the Mavericks did manage to score 22 points in the quarter, the Chicago Bulls scored 28 points. Since the Mavericks were already down entering the final frame, they lost by 12. The Mavericks are now out of contention for the Summer League title, but play one more time Friday evening.
Now, a thing:
I’m sad Luka Doncic didn’t play.
This is my sixth summer league if I can do math correctly, and I am going home tomorrow. Over the years, I’ve overreacted to players (I remember believing in Gal Mekel) and gotten to watch a possible star develop (Dennis Smith Jr., last year).
I really wanted to see Doncic play, which makes writing about the rest of these guys all the harder. Jalen Brunson rounded into form somewhat. Dennis Smith looked not as good as I’d hoped. Johnathan Motley looks pretty solid, but his game is out of place largely with how basketball is played now. Doncic would’ve brought the whole thing into some focus, since he’s the type of player which really gets the most out of his teammates.
We’ll get to see Luka play for years as a Maverick, of course, but I don’t get to go to games more than once a year so I was very not-so-secretly hoping that despite all indications otherwise, that Doncic would get minutes.
Instead, that will have to wait until October.