Early in the season, the Texas Legends (2-3) are still figuring things out, especially on the defensive end. That was all apparent during Wednesday night’s home game against the Stockton Kings (3-3) in which they lost 106-100.
It started out well for the Legends; jumping up to a 6-0 run that was fueled by excellent defense and a hot start by guard Rashad Vaughn who had 11 points in the opening quarter. After one, the Legends looked good with a 21-10 lead over the Kings.
Then the game flipped in favor of the Kings, who used an 18-6 run in the middle of the second quarter to get within one point of the Legends. Then Kings Guard Marcus Williams hit a jumper to tie the game at 34. The Legends defense slipped and allowed the Kings to start shooting well beyond the arc, helping their lead grow. By the end of the first half, the Kings would lead it 48-40.
The third quarter was much more of the same as the Kings continued their hot shooting with a 10-4 run fueled by back to back three pointers. The Legends would make some noise toward the end with some threes by Vaughn and Josh Newkirk, but overall the Kings still dominated the 3rd quarter, ending it with a 12-point lead over the Legends.
Yet, late in the fourth quarter the Legends made a late run to get back into the game and with 1:25 left to play, Legends guard Codi Miller-McIntyre hit a three to pull within 5 of the Kings at 101-96. After trading fouls and free throws, with five seconds left in the game, Vaughn would make a layup to pull within four, but by then it was too late and the Kings would go on to win the game.
“We got to do a better job at containing their runs,” Vaughn said. “That was the biggest thing, not getting stops.”
Vaughn would lead all scorers with 22 points, six rebounds and 4 assists. Miller-McIntyre added 21 points, nine rebounds and eight assists for the game. Ray Spalding added 11 points and seven rebounds.
The offense became a problem as the team only shot 37.8 percent from the field and only had 26.3 percent from beyond the arc. It is something that needs to be fixed but should be coming soon according to forward Ray Spalding.
“We just have to be confident that our shots are going to fall,” Spalding said. “We shoot them every day, we shoot thousands of them, and it’s our job. Just game time, we need to knock them down.”
While the Legends struggled for most of the game, the start and finish of the game is something that the team will take as a positive when moving forward.
“Just stay competitive and come together as teammates.” Spalding said.
The Legends next will host the Oklahoma City Blue on Friday, November 16th at 7:30 p.m. CST. The game will be at the Dr. Pepper Arena in Frisco, TX.
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