Coming off a season-high 49 point win over Delaware on Saturday night, the Legends (22-20) hit the road to square off against the Iowa Energy (11-31), D-League affiliate of the Memphis Grizzlies. The encore performance didn’t disappoint as the Legends won big, 148-105. 148 points is tops on the year for the team, breaking the 145 mark they set three weeks ago.
The past two Legends wins have come by a total point differential of 92. Winners in six of seven, they’re definitely playing their best ball of the season. The playoff push is in full swing but unfortunately they’re working against the clock at this point. Only eight games remain in the season but the winning streak has brought the gap to the final Western Conference playoff spot down to three games.
Andre Dawkins came off the bench and exploded for a season best 37 points on just 18 shots, making 12. Dawkins’ first 30-point effort of the year came in style on a, frankly, silly 12-of-17 from three-point range.
“It was fun,” Dawkins says. “My teammates were finding me, kept feeding me and I was able to get open. Guys were setting good screens for me. It makes my job easy, I just have to catch and shoot it most of the time. I think we played a good game all-around. It’s fun to get out there and just play a real solid 48 minutes.”
We’re going to start mass producing “Warney” labels (get it, like ‘warning labels?) because Jameel Warney is too hot to handle right now. The Legends center also shot 12-of-18 and finished with 30 points.
12 threes for Dawkins sets a new franchise record and ties his personal high of 12, set in 2014 amidst his NBA days with the Heat. He also hit 11 in a game last April. “It’s always good to set a record, that’s fun. It’s been great this last year-plus with the Legends so to go down in the record books is a cool thing.”
The Legends made 54 of their whopping 104 shots and hit an equally incredible 20-of-38 from three. Everybody was in on the action. Nine of the 10 active players for Bob MacKinnon’s team scored at least seven points.
The three-point shot is something teams have always longed for but nowadays is particularly coveted. For Dawkins, that fits the billing. “That’s my skill. Teams know that and I’m here to showcase that. On a night like this when I get to hit a bunch of them is always good. Hopefully teams get to see that and see that I can knock down shots.”
Pierre Jackson (19 points, 11 assists) and Stephane Lasme double-doubled (14 points, 10 rebounds) while Kyle “Air Mormon/Swiss Army Man” Collinsworth flirted with a triple-double at nine points, seven assists and 14 rebounds. He also added four steals and two blocks to a stuffed stat sheet.
The Legends are off until Thursday and then will travel West to Santa Cruz for a back-to-back against the Warriors (25-17), affiliated by the same NBA team. The teams play at 9 PM CT on Friday and Saturday night. Santa Cruz is coincidentally the team next up on the West ladder for Texas to catch. Three games separate the teams so this weekend will go a long way to determining who finishes 2017 with the better record.