The Texas Legends and Maine Red Claws met on Saturday night for their one and only matchup of the 2018-2019 regular season. The team’s parent clubs, the Dallas Mavericks and Boston Celtics, met for the first of two matchups less than an hour away in Dallas. It was a clean sweep for Dallas basketball on this November night.
The Legends (5-4) used a 41-point second quarter to take down the Red Claws (2-7) in overtime, 105-101. Texas washed away Maine’s fourth quarter rally and outscored the opponent six to two in the extra frame.
In his third pro season, all with the Legends, Keith Hornsby has gone from role playing rookie to starter and one of the “vets” on this young Texas squad. Meaningful minutes are now a big part of Hornsby’s contributions.
“The only things I can control when I’m in there is to just play the game I’ve been playing. Do what works, do what’s comfortable. If it’s working, hopefully I’ll be in there at the end of games. It’s just good to be ready at any given time.”
Hornsby followed up his season-high 20 points in Tuesday’s win over Rio Grande Valley with 17 more Saturday night. He made all four of his free throws, the Legends continuing their dominance at the line.
They made 23-of-26 freebies in the win, led by Daryl Macon, who made 9-of-10 en route to his 20 points. His jumper wasn’t where it has been in this one, but he made up for it at the free throw line and also dished out a season-high nine assists.
Speaking of season-highs, Rashad Vaughn grabbed 10 rebounds to go along with 26 points, both tops on the year.
Another early 2018-2019 best, Kostas Antetokounmpo blocked a ridiculous six shots against Maine. 19 teams in the G League don’t average six blocks per game as a team.
After missing three games with an injury, Ray Spalding returned and double-double’d off the bench with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Fellow big man Jameel Warney was up to his usual tricks, scoring 18 points.
For the first time since winning the season opener in Austin, the Legends have seesawed back above .500. As the team heads west, a winning streak might be in the forecast.
“Of course I’m hoping so,” Hornsby said. “We have a four game road trip coming up against all the California teams. It’s always tough to play on the road, so hopefully we can find some good consistency and put some wins together.”
It’s only been nine games and the Legends only returned four players from a year ago. A winning record while working out the kinks and figuring out teammates’ tendencies is a good sign.
“At the beginning of the year, everyone’s kind of feeling each other out and you don’t have that great experience and chemistry yet. But hopefully it’s only growing as we play more games. This road trip will be important for us.”
The four-game road trip is the longest of the entire season for the Legends. The first stop comes Monday in Stockton against the Sacramento affiliate Kings (4-4). Tipoff arrives at 9 PM CT.