In a highly anticipated battle of two top-5 drafted point guards, Dallas came away with the 83-76 victory over Sacramento. Dennis Smith Jr. put on quite a show while De’Aaron Fox was limited, due to injury.
The #3-seed Dallas Mavericks entered their Round of 16 match-up with the Sacramento Kings with an impressive 3-0 Vegas Summer League record. The winners of the Orlando Summer League are now a perfect 7-0 in overall Summer League play.
Sacramento jumped out to a commanding 10-1 lead, culminated by a De’Aaron Fox steal in transition and half-court pass to Justin Jackson at the 7:07 mark. After a 1-of-8 start from the field, Smith provided Dallas’ first field goal with a three-pointer following a timeout. He followed with a strong drive to the basket, resulting in free throws and a 10-6 deficit.
Led by Justin Jackson, Sacramento held Dallas at bay. That was until Dallas answered with a ferocious 17-0 run, capped by a Jonathan Motley buzzer-beater to bring the score to 23-15 after one period.
Motley, as you may remember, signed a two-way contract with the Dallas Mavericks after going undrafted.
Sacramento kept things close going into halftime, thanks to Justin Jackson’s late and-1 basket. Dallas held on to a 41-31 lead at intermission.
Smith led the Mavericks with 15 points, 9 of which came on 3-of-5 shooting behind the arc. Justin Jackson led Sacramento with 17 points on 7-of-12 shooting.
The Kings started the second half without Fox who re-injured his ankle in the first quarter. With Frank Mason (ankle) unavailable and Buddy Hield shut down for the remainder of the summer, options were scarce at the guard position.
Sacramento managed to cut the deficit to six points midway through the 3rd quarter. Smith provided an answer with a timely three-pointer. The score was 64-54 to end the 3rd quarter after a step-back jumper by Smith. Sacramento showed a ton of fight but there was just too much Dennis Smith to contend with.
The rookie sensation finished with 25 points, 6 rebounds, 2 assists and 3 steals. Jackson finished with 25 points, 4 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 steals for the Kings.
Dallas moves on to face the #6-seed Boston Celtics in the quarterfinals round on July 15. The game can viewed at 8 PM (ET) on ESPN2.