On Tuesday night in Frisco, a rambunctious spring break crowd filled the aisles of Dr Pepper Arena and the Texas Legends (26-20) rewarded the faithful fans with a comfortable win over the Santa Cruz Warriors (22-23), 111-95.
Six Legends scored in double-figures, but the night ultimately belonged to J.J. Avila. With 16 points, 13 rebounds (five offensive) and 10 assists, the second-year pro registered his first career triple-double. According to the man himself, it is the first triple-double of his life.
“I always try to get my teammates involved, I always tell them to play your game and shoot the ball because I’m going to rebound,” Avila said after his big night. “All these guys are good players so getting assists is just them hitting shots. It’s cool because I’ve never gotten a triple-double before.”
The Legends have lost several players over the weeks to the parent club Mavericks, and on Tuesday, they were without their two-way players as both Johnathan Motley and Jalen Jones were with the big league team in New York.
The departures led to a start, and a huge role for Avila.
“I’m not about stats,” Avila conceded. “I’m all about wins. But if they stack up like that– I had no idea until a timeout with two minutes left and everybody was congratulating me. As long as we win, though.”
Along with Avila, many Legends put on dominant displays in the win over the Golden State affiliate.
Cory Jefferson flirted with a triple-double of his own, finishing with 19 points, nine rebounds and six assists. Brandon Ashley led all scorers with 21 and also recorded a double-double with 10 rebounds (six offensive).
The Legends out-rebounded Santa Cruz by 20, 59-39, a dominant effort spearheaded by Avila’s efforts.
“I try to outwork everybody,” Avila said. “I might not be the most talented guy out here but hard work beats talent when talent fails to work out. That’s the old saying. I try and just live by that, practice every day and get better every day and whenever I get an opportunity like this, I try to play the best that I can.”
Keith Hornsby scored 15 points with seven rebounds of his own while point guards Damon Lynn (14 points) and Duke Mondy (seven rebounds and five assists) also got in on the action. Jordan Downing got hot in the third quarter and finished with 14 points off the bench. He and Hornsby both added dramatic four-point plays to their March 13th portfolios.
The Legends had 31 assists on 44 made field goals. Put simply, it was a night where everyone got involved to great efficiency and even better results.
Next up for Texas is a Sunday matchup with the Los Angeles-affiliated Agua Caliente Clippers (20-24). An early tip arrives at 5 p.m.