Saturday, July 12, 2014
James, Ledo are strong in victory for Mavs
By Bryan Gutierrez Special to ESPNDallas.com
LAS VEGAS -- The Dallas Mavericks beat the Minnesota Timberwolves in the team's second game of the Las Vegas Summer League. The Mavs now move to 1-1 in the preliminary round of the summer league.
How it happened: After looking lost and sluggish in their opening game against the New York Knicks on Friday, Dallas looked much more in sync against Minnesota. Meanwhile, the Timberwolves were playing their opening game and looked as if they were trying to get their footing.
The Mavs imposed their will in the second quarter by taking a 10-point halftime lead. Their momentum carried into the second half as they opened up the third quarter with an 11-2 run. At one point, the Mavs had a lead as large as 22 in the third quarter. Minnesota responded with a charge of its own, cutting the margin to seven near the midway point of the fourth.
Bernard James had another strong game. Going up against second-year center Gorgui Deng, James responded with his second consecutive strong effort as he scored 21 points and pulled down seven rebounds. Mavs swingman Ricky Ledo showed a little more versatility and consistency with his scoring attack as he shared team-high scoring honors with 21 points.
What it means: Dallas will try to improve its record to 2-1 as it faces the Toronto Raptors on Monday at 5 p.m. CT. That will be the final game of the preliminary round of the summer league. No matter what Dallas' record is after the Toronto game, the Mavs will play at least two more games.
Mavs player of the game: After a sluggish opening game, Ledo responded with a stronger effort against the Timberwolves. En route to his 21-point effort, the young swingman went 5-of-8 from 3-point range.
Stat of the day: One of the summer league projects for the Mavs has been the perimeter shooting of forward Ivan Johnson. Mavs coach Rick Carlisle spent a lot of time after practices in Dallas working with Johnson on his 3-point shooting. The results have been poor to this point as Johnson went 0-of-5 from 3. He is now 1-of-11 from beyond the arc in two games. It might be an uphill battle, but the Mavs will continue to expand his shooting range.