A week separated Saturday’s game and the last time the Texas Legends (24-18) took the court, (don’t worry, it’s the longest you will have to wait in between games for the remainder of the season) and the extra rest proved fruitful for the visiting Legends as they defeated the Miami Heat affiliated, Midwest Division leading Sioux Falls Skyforce (23-19) 125-118.
The two big men in the middle of not only the Texas offense, but the entire G League picture, led the way in the victory. Two-way player Johnathan Motley, for all of his incredible games on the season, recorded his first 30-point outing of the year. He added 10 rebounds to maintain his impressive double-double average for the season.
“He makes my job way easier,” Jameel Warney said of his fellow big man. “Last year, I was playing the five spot really, so I couldn’t show off my talent of being a great passer from the high post. With Mot, he’s one of the best players in the league, he makes my life easier and makes everyone’s life easier.”
Motley shot an efficient 14-of-26 while his frontcourt mate Warney barely missed from the field. Warney made 10-of-14 shots and posted a monstrous double-double of his own with 25 points and 15 rebounds. In his last two games, the second-year player has 45 points and 29 rebounds.
“That’s what I do best is get rebounds,” Warney, who also had six assists, said. “Anyway I can help the team out, I get back to myself and get on the glass and get back on the offensive glass.”
Motley and Warney also each added a three ball apiece, a shot that has gradually improved on the year and is now firmly a part of both players’ tool kit.
The other two-way player on the team, Jalen Jones, scored 25 points of his own with six rebounds and three steals. He shot an equally economical 9-of-16 and the Legends as a team shot 53 percent. Jones also hit all six of his free throw attempts.
Damon Lynn was the sixth man for the evening, backing up Duke Mondy to great results. Lynn scored 14 points and dished out seven assists, also claiming two steals. Keith Hornsby and Willie Warren also had two-steal efforts off the bench, the team picking Sioux Falls’ pocket 11 times.
Things got dicey in the third quarter when the Skyforce outscored the Legends by 14, but Texas rebounded to finish strong in the fourth, outscoring the opposition 36-27 to secure win number 24 on the year.
“They’re a good team so they were definitely going to make a run,” Warney said off the uneven second half. “We started playing their pace, they started turning us over a lot. We just had to calm down and get back to what built the big lead. We started doing that again and won the game.”
A franchise-best 25 wins, set last season in the first year under Bob MacKinnon, is within reach and the Legends will aim to once again hit that mark on Wednesday as they return home to take on the Central Division leading Fort Wayne Mad Ants (25-15). It’s the one and only game against the Indiana Pacers affiliate this season and tipoff arrives a little early at 7:00 p.m.