After losing three in a row on the road, the Legends (11-9) came home and got some home cooking. The results were kind and they broke their losing streak with a triumphant 130-123 win over the Iowa Energy (2-20), D-League affiliate of the Memphis Grizzlies.
The Legends jumped out early behind back-to-back-to-back three’s from Mavericks assignee Nicolas Brussino (25 points), connecting on his first three career attempts (6-of-8 overall) in the D-League. A memorable start for the Argentina-native fueled his squad, who led 34-24 after one.
Leading almost wire-to-wire, the Energy made a big run in the 3rd quarter but the Legends regained the lead in the 4th and would hold on ‘til the final buzzer.
Bryson Fonville had a pair of assists and gave the Mavericks’ affiliate a boost off the bench. The effect of the home crowd is not lost on Fonville and his teammates after they picked up the victory.
“It feels great,” Fonville says. “We dropped a few on the road so to be back in front of our home fans and get the win for them, it’s definitely a great feeling.”
The Legends home court advantage is one of the best in the D-League, if not the premiere spot.
“I love it here,” adds Fonville. “Our fans come out and make a lot of noise. The kids always have fun.”
Pierre Jackson might consider a career in politics after posing with a family’s baby tonight. Jackson maintains a lengthy appearance post game every game. There’s genuine enjoyment from the former Maverick in greeting the loyal fans of the Legends.
Jackson continued his dominant ways on Wednesday night. He finished with 32 points, 13 assists and 6 rebounds. Manny Harris added 27 points, 8 rebounds and 4 assists.
Jackson and Harris are averaging 29.1 and 27.2 points per game respectively, topping the chart for the whole league. The Legends backcourt is scoring more than any other player in the D-League.
His robust assist total brings him to six assists per game, good for fifth in the league. The star performer also made 6-of-11 three pointers. Now shooting 44.3 percent on the season from downtown, only Santa Cruz’s Scott Wood is shooting the three at a higher clip.
A.J. Hammons came off the bench and picked up four blocks in his first seven minutes, finishing with five at the end of the night. Three swatted shots came on a single possession at the end of the first quarter. He would collect 8 rebounds along with his incredible block total.
Hammons fouled out in 28 minutes, something the Mavericks brass want him to work on during his stint in the D-League. The Legends were plus-18 while the Mavericks 2nd round draft pick was on the floor.
C.J. Williams picked up a blocked shot in the third quarter, because C.J. Williams is quietly a block machine. His 27 blocks on the season tie him for ninth, but no guard –not one– is blocking more shots than Williams in 2016-2017.
During a timeout, a lucky fan won a year’s payment off a new KIA car by absolutely nailing a half court shot. I mean he nailed it. Beautiful stroke. See you at tryouts next year, sir!
After the game –win or lose– the team stays on the floor and the players sign autographs, take pictures and mingle with fans.
“I love how after the games everybody gets to come out on the court,” Fonville appreciates the devoted fan base the team has. “We get to meet the people that cheer for us.”
The Legends will take a break Thursday before beginning a back-to-back at home vs. the Rio Grande Valley Vipers, D-League affiliate of the Houston Rockets. Both games on Friday and Saturdaywill be at 7:30 CT.