On Saturday night at Dr Pepper Arena, the Texas Legends (15-17) defeated the Iowa Energy (8-25), D-League affiliate of the Memphis Grizzlies, 114-98. The team also partnered with ZTE USA to help wipe out kids cancer. A great cause was honored with on-court recognitions and competitions. Multiple fans took home brand new ZTE phones.
Between the lines, the Legends rebounded from the unsavory outing Thursday afternoon and led for the majority of the night against Iowa. The Energy led 2-0 at the onset and would later hold a 49-47 lead but were otherwise handled by the home team. Erroneous All-Star snub Manny Harris scored 29 points and was matching his point total with his minutes total all night long.
The Legends didn’t score until the 8:31 mark in the first quarter. Ben Gordon hit a pair of free throws to set the tone for the evening. The game was fairly low scoring –Texas held a 9-4 advantage at the first time out break halfway through the first quarter– until the doors blew open in the second half. Iowa would be up 49-47 at the end of the first half before being outscored by the Legends 67 to 49 in the second.
Andre Dawkins scored 16 points and helped his squad right the wrong from their last outing in Austin.
“It was good,” Dawkins reflects postgame. “I think we did a good job of moving on to the next game. That’s the only thing you can do. Luckily we had another game real quickly. I think we did a good job pretty much the whole game of just staying focused and putting them away.”
J.J. Avila moved into the starting lineup and grabbed seven first quarter rebounds. He and starting center Jameel Warney combined to give the Legends frontcourt an insane plus-minus advantage of plus-56.
All ten active Legends played in the game and all contributed. From Ben Gordon 18 points to Keith Hornsby’s undeniable impact in 14 minutes to Warney’s three blocks, help came from all places on Saturday night.
Dawkins started the year with the Legends before being traded to the Windy City Bulls before being traded back to the Legends. The transition has been mostly seamless.
“It’s pretty simple. Obviously being here at the beginning of the year helps. But at the same time, playing for a guy like (Head Coach) Bob (MacKinnon), it’s real simple to come in and play offensively. He just wants to move the ball, share the ball. Defensively it’s pretty simple, just learning different things. It’s pretty simple to play for Bob, just come in, play hard and you’ll be fine.”
The Legends will hit the road and head to Rio Grande Valley for the first time this season to play the Vipers (20-14), D-League affiliate of the Houston Rockets. The teams split back-to-back contests in Frisco back in January.