Wednesday, July 17, 2013
Rapid Reaction: D-League Select 82, Mavs 75 (summer league)
By Bryan Gutierrez Special to ESPNDallas.com
LAS VEGAS -- The Dallas Mavericks led by as many as 13 points in the first quarter but lost control of the game late in an 82-75 defeat to the D-League Select Team on Tuesday.
How it happened: With 77 seconds left and the Mavs trailing, 75-72, Jae Crowder was fouled and missed both free throws. Dallas didn't have enough left after that to make a comeback.
After two sluggish performances early in their previous games, the Mavs played with more urgency and energy. They actually had their first double-digit lead in Las Vegas. Also, for the first time in the summer league, Dallas was able to work well in transition.
Gal Mekel once again set the tempo for Dallas on offense. Mekel carved up the D-League team with his dribble penetration and found the open man time after time. Mekel had seven assists in the first quarter and finished with a game-high nine assists.
Dallas lost control of its offense in the third quarter as the D-League Select team cranked up the intensity. The D-Leaguers regained the lead with less than six minutes left in the third. Both teams found themselves in a back-and-forth battle for the remainder of the game.
Foul trouble also plagued the Mavs in the second half. They could not stop the D-League team's dribble penetration, nor could they avoid giving up second-chance opportunities. A 3-point basket with under five minutes left gave the D-Leaguers a six-point lead, one they wouldn't relinquish.
Dallas again played without second-year center Bernard James. Team officials said James flew back to Dallas on Tuesday afternoon for personal reasons. He was held out of Sunday's game against Charlotte because of illness. The center's availability for the rest of the summer league appears to be in doubt.
What it means: The Mavs finished the preliminary stage of the summer league with a 1-2 record. The single-elimination tournament begins Wednesday. The final will be Monday. All teams will be seeded 1-22 in the bracket-style event. Teams seeded 1-10 will have a first-round bye, and teams seeded 11-22 will open the tournament Wednesday, including the Mavs.
Mavs player of the game: Mekel continues to gain momentum. His fingerprints were all over Tuesday's game on the offensive end, especially early. That said, the Select Team did a solid job of taking him out of the game later. His nine assists marked the second-highest total in this year's summer league. Diante Garrett of the Phoenix Suns had 13 assists earlier in the day.
Stat of the night: Free throws killed the Mavs in the fourth quarter. They went 10-of-17 from the line in the final period. They were 19-of-30 for the game.