Mavericks rookie Dereck Lively II helps team win Rising Stars Championship

San Antonio Spurs v Dallas Mavericks
San Antonio Spurs v Dallas Mavericks / Ron Jenkins/GettyImages

The Dallas Mavericks closed out the first half of the season on a high note. The team went on a six-game winning streak to finish before the All-Star break, as it went 7-3 in their last ten games.

Dereck Lively II is one player who has contributed to the team's success. The Dallas rookie has become a key part of the Mavs' rotation. In 37 games, he is averaging 9.2 points per game, 7.8 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks.

In the team's last game before the All-Star break, Lively II poured in eight points, five rebounds, and four blocks in 17 minutes of action. The Mavs' rookie had missed the last seven games with a broken nose.

Mavericks rookie Dereck Lively II helps team win Rising Stars Championship

Injuries have been an obstacle for Lively II this season. The seven-foot-one center has missed 18 games due to injuries. He first missed sometime in November due to back spasms before injuring his left ankle in December and January.

Lively II's hard work, however, has not gone unnoticed. This month, he was selected to participate in the Rising Stars game. Lively II played a big role Friday night in helping his team win the championship.

In the opening round of the festivities, Lively II helped his team win their first game 40-35. He contributed with six points and two rebounds. His teammates, such as Indiana Pacers forward Bennedict Mathurin, also did their part. Mathurin led the way as he dropped 18 points in the opening game.

During the championship game, Lively II led all scorers with six points as he shot 100 percent from the field. Oklahoma City Thunder wing Jalen Williams knocked down the game-winning 3-pointer to help seal the deal. Team Jalen closed out the finals with a 26-13 victory. Mathurin received the Rising Stars MVP for his overall contribution in both games.

Lively II did well in both games, using his versatility and quickness to attack as a lob threat. A prime example was in the championship game when he caught an alley-oop from New Orlean Pelicans guard Jordan Hawkins.

Before the game, Lively II was very thankful to be invited. He expressed gratitude for the invitation he received.

"It feels amazing just being invited, being here at this event. There are a lot of people who wish they could be at this event. You just have to be grateful to be in the position you find yourself in. "

Dereck Lively II

The Dallas rookie will now get some time to rest and heal as the Mavericks don't play again till February 22 against the Phoenix Suns.

Stay tuned for more information on the Dallas Maverick and their representation during All-Star weekend.