The Texas Legends (15-13) used a career night from Jaylen Hoard to reach the 100-point mark in the third quarter and finish with a season-high score in their 144-140 win over the Oklahoma City Blue (12-17) Thursday night on the road.
Vincent Edwards grabbed the first points of the game to give OKC the first lead 3-0. The two exchanged leads five times, staying within a 5-point swing either direction until the four-minute mark when Yudai Baba grabbed the lead Texas would carry through the final buzzer. The Blue stayed within eight, but the Legends ended the first on top 37-32. With seconds left in the half, Texas built their first double-digit lead and went into the break up 10.
The Legends opened the third with five unanswered points before the Blue responded with eight straight to cut the lead to seven. Midway through the quarter, DeVaughn Akoon-Purcell put the Blue within three, but Dakota Mathias responded from outside to double the deficit. The final two minutes saw a perfect back-and-forth as the Blue battled to cut the lead and Jaylen Hoard responded four times to keep Texas up by nine. With 4:30 on the clock, Texas held the largest lead of the night (+19), and after an Akoon-Purcell dunk, the two stayed scoreless for over two minutes putting Texas up 17 with just under two minutes to play. The gap proved to be fuel for the Blue as they finished the night on a 22-9 run to erase the double-digit deficit and come within four at the final buzzer.
Texas shot just over 50% from the field but knocked down 53% from outside and 86% at the line. Hoard powered the Legends with a career night posting 34 points and a game-high 12 rebounds for his first double-double. Dakota Mathias went 5-of-9 outside for 26 points, 2 rebounds, and 4 assists, combining with Hoard to finish a perfect 7-of-7 from the free throw line. Josh Reaves added 18 points and 10 rebounds while Brandon Fields finished with 15 points, 10 assists to give the Legends three double-doubles. Jahmal McMurray came off the bench for 15 points, 3 assists, and Isaiah Roby neared another double-double with 10 points, 9 rebounds.
Akoon-Purcell led all scorers with 38 points, 8 rebounds for the Blue while Kadeem Jack joined him off the bench for 22 points, 7 rebounds. Markel Brown tabbed 21 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists and Abdul Gaddy dished out a game-high 20 assists to go with 12 points for the Blue’s only double-double.
Texas returns home to host the College Park Skyhawks Sunday at 3pm. For tickets or information call 214-469-0822 or visit www.TexLegends.com.