The Texas Legends (15-32) shot a season-high 57% from outside but were unable to hold off the Agua Caliente Clippers (25-21) who dominated the boards to take the 125-119 victory.
Texas grabbed the first lead with a long ball from Keith Hornsby to open the game. The visitors stayed close and pulled ahead four minutes in, carrying the lead through the first buzzer courtesy of a 19-point effort from Johnathan Motley. Up 36-35 going into the second, the visitors took their largest lead of the night (+10) midway through. Texas fought back with a 12-point performance from Xavier Rathan-Mayes and edged the Clippers 61-60 with seconds to play. Back-to-back makes put the Clippers up by three before Rathan-Mayes pulled up for a buzzer-beating three to take them into the locker room at 64-all.
Neck-and-neck in the third, the two went back and forth seven times, staying within six points on either side. They exchanged baskets (and leads) for the final two minutes with Billy Preston getting the final word in for Texas 89-88. The Legends took their largest lead in the fourth (+11) with all three made threes in the first five minutes. The Clippers got hot in the final minutes, knocking down 65% to climb back up and finishing perfect 7-of-7 at the free throw line to hold off the home team.
Rathan-Mayes led all scorers with a season-high 29 points, knocking down 5-of-8 from outside and dishing out a team-high 7 assists. Kostas Antetokounmpo finished with 17 points (hitting a season-high 3-of-4 outside), 4 rebounds, and led the game with 3 blocks. Daryl Macon added 17 points, 3 rebounds, and 5 assists, and Vander Blue came off the bench for 16 points, 2 assists. Preston neared his second double-double with the team with 13 points, 8 rebounds, and Hornsby rounded out the double-digit scorers with 12 points, 3 rebounds.
Motley led the Clippers with 28 points, 10 rebounds, and 2 blocks while fellow Clippers two-way Angel Delgado added 27 points, 17 rebounds, and 4 assists. Manu Lecomte grabbed a third double-double for the Clippers with 15 points, 4 rebounds, and 10 assists.
The two teams meet again Saturday night at 7:30pm for the Legends’ final home game of the 2018-19 season. For tickets or information call 214-469-0822 or visit www.TexLegends.com.