At the Prescott Valley Event Center in the eponymous city, the Legends (8-6) used a big second quarter to defeat the Northern Arizona Suns (10-4), D-League affiliate of the Phoenix Suns, 115-99. Texas improves to 5-4 on the road.
They held the Suns to a 19 point second quarter and under 100 points for the game. It was the third time the Legends have achieved that this season and the first time since holding Salt Lake to 84 on November 26th.
After Saturday’s game, Assistant Coach Charlie Bell stressed defense going forward and also pointed out that he expected the team to get better as a unit as the season progressed. Well, two days later they achieved both goals Bell talked about.
Pierre Jackson continued his dominant ways and raised his league leading scoring average yet again. He finished with 35 and is now at 29.3 a game. He recorded 6 assists and 4 steals. From the field he was 10-of-16 and from the free throw line a perfect 10-of-10. His three ball? 5-of-9.
There’s not much else to say about Pierre Jackson’s dominance right now.
Jackson’s teammate Manny Harris is right behind him in D-League scoring with his 25.4 average. He ended Tuesday’s matchup at 27 points in a game high 41 minutes and like Jackson had four steals. He’s second in the league in steals (2.7 a game).
Quincy Acy was also perfect from the charity stripe (8-of-8). He finished with 21 points and 7 rebounds. Jameel Warney had 14 points, 6 boards and a pair of blocks. He recorded a +/- of 21, the best of 19 competitors in the game.
Jackson, Harris, Acy and Warner combined for 97 points after the same quartet combined for 96 on Friday. Get your bets in now for 98 on Thursday.
C.J. Williams started for the departed Courtney Fells and hauled in 10 rebounds. He also blocked two shots and continues to be a nice source of blocked shots. Kyle Collinsworth equaled Williams’ 10 boards, with 5 on the defensive and offensive glass respectively.
Asked if starting or coming off the bench affects his approach, Williams says “not really.
“I know whether or not I start or come off the bench, it’s not going to matter as long as I’m playing well. I just prepare myself to play for whatever the coach wants me to do. If he wants to play 10 minutes, I just have to play the best 10 minutes I can.”
Texas made 31-of-36 free throws to the tune of 86 percent. They continue to be pests on defense, with 14 steals (the Suns had 6) under the direction of Coach MacKinnon’s aggressive defense. They also swatted six shots to just one for Northern Arizona and committed 12 turnovers while the opponent had 22. Williams says there is still room to improve.
“We have to a little better job of playing defense without fouling,” he says. “They were getting a lot of points with the clock stopped”
The Legends guard/forward steps out of the elevator at the team hotel and lays out the plan for the next few days.
“We’re going to Salt Lake to get some rest and get acclimated to the altitude. Last time we played there that was a little bit of an issue. I feel like this time around it will be a little bit better and hopefully we come away with a win.”
The Legends continue their three game road trip on Thursday in Salt Lake City against the Utah Jazz affiliated Stars at 8 PM CT. The season series is tied at one, with both teams taking the home game in convincing fashion.