The Dallas Mavericks closed out pool play with a 91-71 win over the Golden State Warriors. Phil Greene led an extremely balanced Maverick attack with 16 points. Kendrick Nunne and Josh Magette scored 10 each in a lackluster effort for the Warriors.
With Dennis Smith Jr, Johnathan Motley, and Dorian Finney-Smith sitting this game out, the summer Mavericks had a very different look to start their third Las Vegas Summer League contest. Dallas quickly jumped out to a 9-0 lead through a variety of scoring opportunities. Jalen Jones and Ray Spalding led a group effort for the Mavericks who finished the period up 29-21.
Between quarters a lid must have been placed on the Dallas basket as they were only able to score three points in the first five minutes of game action. Through eight minutes they had only scored via free throws, and finally got a bucket to go through the rim during the course of play with a 1:45 in the quarter. After letting the Warriors get within four points, Dallas ended the quarter up 39-31.
The offense came back for Dallas in the early portion of the third, scoring 12 points in the first four minutes of game action. The Warriors kept pace though, not letting the Dallas lead get into double digits. Jalen Brunson had the best pass of the night during the third: a sweet top of the key look-away to a wide open Spalding under the rim for a dunk. The Mavericks kept the offensive pressure on and the single digit lead became a 15 point lead after Brunson found the bottom of the net through a technical foul free throw and a three pointer. The Mavericks poured on the points throughout the quarter and took a 76-52 lead into the final period.
For the Mavericks, the fourth was primarily about keeping any Warrior surge at bay. Golden State didn’t seem very interested though, and the Mavericks worked through a slightly foul plagued quarter to take home a 91-71 win.
Jalen Brunson is going to be fine.
I’m prone to overreaction. If we’ve traveled this Mavericks road together, that’s a thing you know all too well. And yet I’ve not been worried about Brunson. Even though he struggled shooting again Monday evening, he showed a lot of why the Mavericks were so excited to select him in June’s draft. His control of the game was strong, with 8 assists to just one turnover. As he gets comfortable with his new Maverick teammates in the fall, Brunson’s going to provide steady minutes as a third or fourth guard.
Now, back to my overreacting, but this time as a force for good. KOSTAAAAAS. The Greek Mystique? Fish called him the Freakquil which doesn’t read right to me. Whatever we call him, I hope we keep him for a while.
Everything I’d read to this point indicated that he wasn’t very skilled. That… does not seem to be the case. Perhaps he lacks experience. Perhaps he lacks a lot of polish. But the guy made three weak side blocks that got the crowd on it’s feet. He had at least two possessions where he took his man off the dribble from very far away from the basket. He looked fluid and mold-able. More of him, please.