Dallas Mavericks Win First Vegas Summer League Game

LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 08: (L-R) Lauri Markkanen
LAS VEGAS, NV - JULY 08: (L-R) Lauri Markkanen /

The Dallas Mavericks had a fairly slow start to the game, but finished strong as they took down the Chicago Bulls 91-75. Brandon Ashley led all scorers with 21 points.

The Las Vegas Summer League started up yesterday but the league didn’t get their first look at the Dallas Mavericks until today. It was definitely worth the wait as Dallas put on a show and livened up the crowd with their exciting style of play and multiple sure-fire roster players.

Some players that people were looking forward to seeing include Yogi Ferrell, Dorian Finney-Smith, and Nicolas Brussino, all players who were on the Mavs roster last season. Ferrell took over the game for a short time and Brussino shot the ball pretty well, but DFS had a bit of a rough game on 1-8 shooting.

RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – AUGUST 06: Yanyuhang Ding /

The real player Mavs fans were excited to see, though, was of course, Dennis Smith Jr., the rookie point guard that has everyone excited for the Mavericks season. His first game was not spectacular but he certainly proved that he deserves to be here. Aside from some average shooting, DSJ consistently outshone Kris Dunn, an above average defensive point guard and maybe his best defensive competition in the entire summer league.

Despite a lackluster shooting effort to the tune of 5-12 from the field and 1-6 from three, Junior continuously drew double-teams, tight defense, and an eye from every defender on the court. This was a big reason for DSJ’s ability to grab 6 dimes throughout the game. He probably should’ve had more but the lackluster shooting of the first half made a difference. He also had 7 rebounds.

The surprise of the game was undoubtedly the sensation that is Ding Yanyuhang. Somehow, Ding was the most exciting player to the fans in Las Vegas and each time he touched the ball the crowd erupted. He finished the game with 5 points (2-2 FG%) and 3 rebounds and a cult-like following that will follow him the rest of the way. Should be fun to keep an eye on.

The Chicago Bulls were led by the play of Denzel Valentine and their newest rookie, Lauri Markkanen. Markkanen led the way with 14 points while Valentine had 12 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 steals.

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The Dallas Mavericks will continue their summer play tomorrow at 3:30 central time when they play Josh Jackson and the Phoenix Suns. Dallas is looking to dominate yet another summer league after winning the championship in Orlando.