Rapid Reaction: Mavs 76, Kings 73 (summer league)
July, 13, 2013
By Bryan Gutierrez | ESPNDallas.com
The Dallas Mavericks defeated the Sacramento Kings in the teams' opener of the Las Vegas Summer League.
How it happened: Down as many as 14 points with just over 3½ minutes to go in the first half, the Mavs battled back in the second half to secure the win. Josh Akognon, a carryover from last season, led the Mavs with a game-high 22 points.
Gal Mekel did a nice job of letting the game come to him. He moved into the starting point guard role due to Shane Larkin’s fractured right ankle. The Israeli guard had some expected rookie moments, but he did a nice job of directing traffic on offense. In his first real action, Mekel showed some promise.
Jae Crowder’s slimmer look was a story heading into the summer league, and he showed a little more mobility. He mixed up his game and got things going early for Dallas. He hit a patch of inconsistency with his jumper but created separation with a fadeaway jumper to make it 73-71 in favor of Dallas with 38.4 seconds left. He finished with 16 points on 7-of-16 shooting.
Fellow second-year player Bernard James had a team-high nine rebounds, but he struggled when he tried to finish shots at the rim. In preparation for Vegas, he said he was working on bulking up and improving his finishing skills. It appears he still has some more work to do.
Ricky Ledo, the 43rd overall pick in the draft, was the scorer off the bench for Dallas. Known as a shooter, he delivered with nine points on 4-of-5 shooting. The summer league represents the first time he has played organized basketball in over a year. It’s possible the Mavs found another second-round gem.
What it means: Dallas’ summer-league roster showed some scrappiness with the comeback, but they have a lot of work to do on the defensive end. Coach Monte Mathis won’t have much time to get the team to correct that issue as it faces the Charlotte Bobcats on Sunday.
Mavs player of the game: Akognon’s shooting kept the Mavs within striking distance. He signed with Dallas for the remainder of the season in April. With a nonguaranteed deal, the shooter is looking to show he is worthy of a spot on the 15-man roster.
Stat of the day: In a similar fashion to the 2012-13 Mavs, the summer leaguers had trouble finishing off possessions. They were outrebounded 41-37. They were also minus-11 on second-chance points. Luckily for them, they did just enough to secure the win.