For the second night in the back-to-back series, the third quarter proved a crucial turning point in the Legends’ (23-21) matchup with the Santa Cruz Warriors (26-19). The second half swing went in favor of the home team to split the series with a 135-121 Warriors win.
The two teams exchanged leads six times in the first with Texas coming out on top 37-32 behind a combined 22-point effort from Ben Gordon and Jameel Warney. The difference stayed in the single-digits in the second, with Santa Cruz pulling ahead momentarily but Texas controlling the quarter. Gordon went into the locker room at an 80% clip from outside leading the Legends to a 68-61 halftime advantage.
Texas shot 52% to Santa Cruz’s 39% in the first half, but the tables more than turned coming out of the break. The Legends were shooting 31% overall while the Warriors hit 62% and 63% outside. James Southerland was nearly flawless to lead the home team, hitting 5-of-6 (perfect three from the three) and grabbing five rebounds. Texas’ 10-point advantage turned into an 8-point deficit heading into the fourth. The Warriors quickly grabbed a double-digit lead and ran with it through the final buzzer.
Gordon led the Legends with 25 points, 3 rebounds, 5 assists while Stephane Lasme grabbed the team’s only double-double of 16 points, 11 boards and continued his block party with 6 rejections. Warney finished with 20 points 9 rebounds, 2 steals, and 3 blocks and Pierre Jackson had a team-high 8 assists with 13 points, 6 rebounds, and 2 steals.
Jabari Brown came off the bench for a game-high 26 points for the Warriors, who had three double-doubles in Southerland (17 points, 11 rebounds), Phil Pressey (13 points, 12 assists), and Kevon Looney (12 points, 10 rebounds).
The Legends will continue their road trip in Reno on Monday taking on the Bighorns at 9pm CT. Fans can catch all the action live at www.TexLegends.com.