After making the playoffs last season, the Texas Legends (1-0) continued that momentum in the 2018-2019 season opener at the Austin Spurs (0-1), defeating the defending G League champions 126-120.
Starting the season in Austin for the second consecutive year –the Legends won 123-119 on November 4th, 2017– Texas got the best of their division rivals once again. From the opening tip to the final buzzer the Legends never trailed, leading by as many as 17.
Two-way rookie Daryl Macon got his career off to a hot start, scoring 35 points while shooting 12-of-18 from the field, 4-of-6 from three and 7-8 from the free throw line. He came out of the gates firing, playing all 12 minutes of the first quarter with nine points.
Third-year Legend Jameel Warney, now with well-deserved NBA experience to his name, scored 17 points and hauled in 13 rebounds.
“It was good to get back on the court together,” Warney said after the win. “The new guys were great. It was an all-around good effort.”
Codi Miller-McIntyre also had a strong debut. The Exhibit 10 player had 19 points and six assists, demonstrating his impressive playmaking and passing abilities. He also added a game-high four steals, Macon collecting three.
On assignment from the parent club Dallas Mavericks, Ray Spalding had 18 points on 8-of-12 shooting with six rebounds. Miller-McIntyre shot 7-of-12, the Legends shooting 54 percent as a team.
6 of the 10 Legends that played Saturday night were new faces, but that didn’t stop Warney and the returning players from quickly settling in with their new teammates.
“We all have the same goal to try to get better and you gotta get better as a team playing together,” Warney said.
The Legends went to the free throw line 32 times, making 25 (72 percent). They turned the ball over only 11 times, half the number of Austin.
All five starters –and seven players total– scored in double figures. Two-way forward Kostas Antetokounmpo had 13 points, two of them coming on an alley-oop well above the rim in the first quarter in what we can expect to be a frequent attraction.
Warney has become the face of the Legends since joining the team in 2016. His goal is no longer to get to the NBA, but to get back.
“The first two years I felt like I was forcing it a little bit. I’m playing more freely now and trying to do what the team needs me to do. Whatever they need me to do, I’m gonna do it and I’m just ready to get better every day.”
The Legends look to keep their perfect season (they’ve never trailed!) going on Tuesday in Salt Lake City as they visit another division opponent, the Utah Jazz affiliate Stars (1-0), at 8 PM CT.