Mavericks vs. SunsEric Griffin scores 20 points to lead the Mavericks over the Suns 88-62.
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LAS VEGAS — With one final test on Friday, there was still an opportunity for the Dallas Mavericks to complete their summer-league experience on a high note.
Looking to bounce back from Wednesday’s 82-81 loss to Charlotte that eliminated them from the winner’s bracket, the Mavericks tried to conclude summer-league play with a win over the Phoenix Suns. However, if they were going to do so, the short-handed Mavs would have to overcome the absences of three top contributors.
Still, the Mavericks (3-2) would leave Las Vegas victoriously after sprinting to a blowout 88-62 win.
“It’s always encouraging. As a coach, you want to see your best performance the last time you play, and I think the guys did a great job today of being locked in,” Mavs summer-league head coach Kaleb Canales said after the win.
With point guard Gal Mekel returning to his home country to compete with the Israeli National Team and sharpshooter Chris Goulding doing the same while returning to Australia, the Mavericks featured a new starting backcourt of lead guard Dee Bost and second-year swingman Ricky Ledo. Signed by the Mavs earlier in the day, forward Eric Griffin also slid into the starting lineup at the 3. Meanwhile, as free-agent center Bernard James sat out the last game of his impressive summer showing, Jackie Carmichael and big man Ivan Johnson manned the frontline.
But, after falling behind 11-1 quickly from the opening tipoff, the Mavs would trail 20-16 following the first quarter of play.
“We kind of started off a little sluggish,” Canales confessed “We had to create our own energy, and I thought we did that on the defensive end.”
With backup point guard and summer-league fan favorite Yuki Togashi leading the charge, the Mavs continued to mount a comeback early in the second stanza. Griffin then continued to show off his dazzling leaping ability, helping the Mavs to draw even on the scoreboard in the process. Griffin’s driving score then gave the Mavericks their first lead of the day at 34-32.
But it would be Bost’s buzzer-beating 3-pointer from near halfcourt that sent the Mavs into the halftime intermission with a 37-32 advantage over the Suns (2-3).
With Ledo and Griffin both providing above-the-rim highlights, the Mavericks surged ahead by double digits early in the third. The two summer-league standouts then boosted the Mavs into the fourth with a 65-43 lead and never looked back.
Both teams then emptied their benches in the fourth quarter as the Mavericks easily cruised to the win.
Celebrating his signing in a big way, Griffin scored 20 points on 9-of-13 shooting, adding three rebounds and three blocks to boot.
“I’m just really happy to be here. I’m finally here,” Griffin said with a smile while turning his attention to training camp in the fall. “It’s definitely not over. I still have to prove myself to the team and the organization.”
Ledo filled up the stat sheet with 15 points, four rebounds and nine assists. Javon McCrea and Axel Toupane were the only other Mavs in double figures with 10 points apiece off the bench.
Elias Harris led the Suns with 15 points on 7-of-12 shooting. But the Mavericks’ 49.3 percent shooting as a team bettered the Suns’ 30.8 percent, adding a 40-32 rebounding advantage and forcing Phoenix into 22 turnovers while surrendering just 13 giveaways of their own.
“All the goals we talked about 2 ½ weeks ago, I thought the team did a good job of accomplishing that,” Canales said while summing up the summer.
|Eric Griffin, F||27||9-13||1-2||1-2||0||3||3||0||1||3||0||7||28||20|
|Jackie Carmichael, F||30||1-5||0-0||4-8||2||4||6||4||1||1||1||4||15||6|
|Ivan Johnson, C||18||3-8||0-2||1-2||0||5||5||0||0||1||1||2||14||7|
|Ricky Ledo, G||26||6-13||1-5||2-3||0||4||4||9||2||0||1||1||27||15|
|Dee Bost, G||24||2-7||2-3||2-3||1||6||7||2||0||0||4||1||22||8|
|TJ Warren, F||31||3-11||0-1||3-7||1||4||5||0||2||1||2||2||-23||9|
|Elias Harris, F||29||7-12||1-2||0-0||2||2||4||1||0||0||2||2||-15||15|
|Alec Brown, C||0||1-1||1-1||0-0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||3||3|
|Archie Goodwin, G||31||3-12||0-3||7-9||1||4||5||0||0||0||2||1||-26||13|
|Tyler Ennis, G||18||0-6||0-1||0-0||1||2||3||1||0||0||5||2||-4||0|
Postgame: Ricky LedoRicky Ledo speaks after dishing out 9 assists and pouring in 15 points to lead the Mavericks over the Suns.
Ricky Ledo DunkRicky Ledo catches the hail mary and finishes with authority.
Eric Griffin Reverse DunkRicky Ledo passes to Eric Griffin for the reverse jam.
Toupane 360-degree DunkAxel Toupane lands the 360-degree dunk.
Assist of the Night – Ricky LedoRicky Ledo throws a wonderful pass during the third quarter.
Togashi Show and GoYuki Toshiba blows through the Suns' defense and heads to the rack for the easy layup.
Bost Buzzer-beaterDee Bost nails the buzzer-beater as time expires at the half.