Although Brooklyn played a roster of four vets in Jarrett Allen, Rodions Kurucs, Dzanan Musa, Theo Pinson, and two draft picks Nic Claxton and Jaylen Hands, turnovers haunted Brooklyn throughout the night – typical of summer league action where players aren’t yet familiar with each other.
Allen and Pinson were the main culprits. The two mainstays of last year’s Long Island Nets, gave away the ball four and six times, respectively, including one late by Musa that helped Dallas seal the deal. As a team, the Nets totaled a whopping 22 turnovers on the night.
Despite the sloppy play, it was an entertaining game throughout as the Nets battled back from an 11-point halftime deficit to make it a back-and-forth affair down the stretch.
As a third year player and a starter on a playoff team, Allen led the way with 19 points, eight rebounds, three assists, three blocks, and a steal, including this sequence...
Allen, asked about whether he’ll be upset if he doesn’t start, told Michael Scotto, “You know, a little bit. I mean, obviously, it matters a little bit. Everybody wants to start, but in this case, it doesn’t matter to me. F--- it, yeah, I want to start. F--- it (laughs).”
Kurucs, who looked noticeably bigger, added 14 points, seven rebounds, two assists, and a block on 6-for-8 shooting.
While an inefficient, combined 7-of-22 from the field, Pinson and Musa had their moments, contributing 14 and 12 points, respectively. Undrafted 25-year old point guard Josh Gray started and played an efficient game. Gray, who played last season in South Korea, had an impressive debut, putting home 14 points, five rebounds, three assists, and a couple of steals.
Brooklyn’s 2019 draft picks, Claxton and Hands, were relatively quiet in their first professional outings – combining for just 10 points and 9 rebounds, but with one impressive connection for a mammoth dunk.
Dallas held a 50-39 edge at halftime, but Brooklyn cut the Mavs’ lead to two points at the end of the third quarter. The Nets managed to take brief three-point lead midway through the fourth, but a two-pointer from Cameron Payne with 3:26 to play broke an 84-84 tie and gave Dallas the lead for good.
Nets media in Las Vegas also had an opportunity to catch up with Spencer Dinwiddie, who was on hand along with new Net Taurean Prince to watch the young Nets.
Dinwiddie talked about the big news, of course, and what adding Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving means for the franchise
“Anytime you add two of the top players in the world – they’re multi-time All-Stars - you’re obviously going to get better,” said Dinwiddie. “It’s up to the rest of us to facilitate that transition and hopefully we can be a very good team next year.”
Regarding the rumors of him playing a part of recruiting Irving to Brooklyn, Dinwiddie played coy “The thing about the NBA, everything you read is plausible. And with that being said, obviously, it could’ve happened, it may not have happened.”
Now with Durant and Irving leading the charge, Dinwiddie recognized how the Nets profile might rise while also throwing one of his now familiar jabs at the Knicks in the process.
“We definitely are going to be viewed differently with stars on the team... (The Knicks) fan base runs deep, their history runs deep and they’re fanatics for sure. I’m sure they wish the whole league saw them the way they saw themselves,,,
“We’ve been the best team in New York for a hot second now. We beat them last year. We’re going to beat them this year. That’s pretty simple. Like I said, I don’t really want that much beef with Knicks fans. I’m just here to tell you the truth. They got mad last year. All I did was tell the truth, but I didn’t say anything ill or against them.”
With the Nets able to make their signings official as early as tomorrow, look for an introductory press conference some time after the Summer League ends a week from Monday.
Finally, Dinwiddie circled back to the topic at hand – the Nets young players – revealing, “I think Jarrett’s going to be an All-Star one day.”
For Dallas, NBA G-League vet Antonius Cleveland and former first round pick Cam Payne led the way, pouring in a combined 40 points in the victory.
The Nets will be back in action on Sunday as they are scheduled to battle the Croatian national team at 4 p.m. on NBA TV.
- Box Score: Dallas Mavericks 96, Brooklyn Nets 92 - NBA.com
- Highlights: Dallas Mavericks 96, Brooklyn Nets 92 (Video) - NBA.com
- Nets’ Jarrett Allen and Rodions Kurucs looking at summer league as time to grow - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Spencer Dinwiddie fanning rivalry flames with Knicks jab - Brian Lewis - New York Post
- Dinwiddie giddy to have Kyrie, KD on board - Greg Logan - Newsday
- Spencer Dinwiddie talks recruiting Kyrie Irving and Brooklyn owning New York - Michael Scotto - The Athletic New York
- China, Croatia fall in NBA summer league debuts - AP
- BROOKLYN NETS SUMMER LEAGUE: MAVERICKS 96, NETS 92 - Tom Dowd - Brooklyn Nets
- Antonius Cleveland scores 22 as Mavs hold off Nets in summer-league opener - Dallas Morning News