Coming out of the All-Star Break, the Legends (19-19) were coming home for a highly uncommon eight games in a row. The opportunity presented before them was unique and paramount to making a push for the playoffs. Five games in, they have taken advantage, winning four out of five.
Saturday night they played in front of a massive Dr Pepper Arena crowd. 6,753 converged in Frisco as Texas defeated the visiting Long Island Nets (14-26) 121-110. This is the only matchup in the 2016-2017 season between the Legends and the Brooklyn Nets’ affiliate.
For the first time since December, the Legends have won three in a row and are building up some momentum as the season enters its final month of games.
“Going into this final stretch of the season, we’re just trying to make a playoff push,” says Legends rookie guard Bryson Fonville. “All the guys are really coming together, playing together and sticking as a unit so we can win and finish the season out well. We’ve had this group for a few weeks, things are really flowing now.”
Big man Stephane Lasme continues to reject just about everything coming his way. He picked up five blocks for the second game in two nights and also tied for a team-high 22 points. Making 9-of-13 field goals, Lasme was plus-16 in 33 minutes. Legends starters combined for a net +/- of plus-78.
Every team loves to play at home, but the opportunity to spend 17 straight days on your own hardwood has proven to be just as beneficial to the team as anticipated.
“Obviously playing at home is always the best. Our home fans pack the gym. We always have a great crowd at our games. They make a lot of noise, it’s a fun atmosphere.”
“It definitely helps on like the wear and tear of your body. Sleeping at home in your own bed instead of hotels on the road. No flights, definitely easier, everything is familiar in Frisco.”
On assignment from the Dallas Mavericks, Nicolas Brussino notched a 16 point, 10 rebound double-double. The Argentine made all seven free throw attempts and is averaging 16.6 points 6.8 rebounds and 4.8 assists on 49 percent shooting in five D-League games.
The season-long home stand continues on Tuesday night in the first of two straight matchups against the Northern Arizona Suns (18-20), affiliate of the Phoenix Suns, at 7 PM CST.
“It’s fun because you get to adjust quickly. Instead of having to wait two weeks to play the same team, you play on the first night and you can see what you did wrong. Quickly adjust and fix it, come back the next night and improve on what you did the first time.”
Looking for a season-best four game winning streak, the Legends are expected to welcome Kyle Collinsworth back to the lineup. “Air Mormon” (nickname courtesy of teammate Jameel Warney) has been out of action since injuring his ankle on February 4th.