After missing one game with a minor injury, two-way rookie Daryl Macon returned to the Texas Legends and led the home team in scoring with 26 points on Friday night. He converted on a step-back three-pointer late in the game to give the Legends (3-3) the win and hand the Oklahoma City Blue (5-1) their first loss.
“I saw the shot clock going down and realized I just gotta get a shot up,” Macon said after the win. “He was guarding me pretty close so I had to find some separation to get it off. It felt good and it went in. I knew it was going in when it left my hand. It felt too good. I got a good shot off and I made it.”
The Legends trailed the Blue by eight at the half but outscored the visiting Thunder affiliate 29 to 17 in the third quarter. When each team has offensive weapons, defense prevailed.
“That was the whole key of the game. Get stops. Make their shooting percentage go down and run them.”
Macon shot 11-of-22 from the field and made three of four from three, continuing the hot start to his pro career. He’s very quickly and very deservedly earned the “Macon Rain” nickname in his early Legends days.
“I always have to give a big shoutout to my teammates. They always set me up for big shots, set me up for great success. Without them, none of this is happening these first five games.”
Jameel Warney started for an inactive Ray Spalding and Rashad Vaughn remained in the first unit after recording a team-high 22 points on Wednesday. Warney had 14 points in this one, Vaughn putting up 16 with six rebounds and a pair of blocks.
The Legends shot just 42 percent from inside the three-point line, but caught fire beyond it, making 41 percent of their tries from downtown (14-for-34). Macon and Justin Tubbs each made three of four from beyond the arc. Josh Newkirk was perfect in two tries and Warney also added a pair of triples.
The Legends made 14-of-16 team free throws, fronted by a 5-of-6 effort from Vaughn and a flawless 4-of-4 from Xavier Johnson, who had nine points and eight rebounds in 19 minutes off the bench. Also off the bench, Tubbs had 11 points in just eight minutes.
Kostas Antetokounmpo had the best game of his young career. He started at center and scored a season-high 14 points with seven rebounds, three assists and two blocks. The only blip on the radar for Antetokounmpo the Younger is foul trouble. He has at least four fouls in each of the team’s six games, 28 total, and a key part of the 20-year old’s development will be harnessing his incredible physical tools.
The Legends had just 11 turnovers. The lowest team average in the league is 12.4 per game (Memphis).
Oklahoma City’s loss leaves just two remaining unbeaten G League teams. The Santa Cruz Warriors are 5-0 and in action Friday, while the Long Island Nets are 4-0 and in the midst of eight straight days off. Sioux Falls has a league-leading six wins with a loss OKC handed them last night.
But you’re not here for them. You’re here for us! The Legends are once again even at .500, putting a quick end to a minor two-game skid. Next up is a second straight Sunday matchup, this one in Iowa against the Timberwolves affiliate Wolves (1-5). Tip off arrives at 4 PM.