DALLAS -- Jae Crowder has been doing extensive work on his jumpshot throughout training camp.
Monday night that heavy work load paid off handsomely for the Dallas Mavericks' rookie from Marquette.
Crowder poured in 20 points and grabbed five rebounds in 15 workmanlike minutes to help the Mavs roll over the Houston Rockets, 123-104 at American Airlines Center. Crowder converted 8-of-15 baskets, including 4-of-7 from three-point territory.
“It was a good moment for me to come out in front of the home crowd and play free,’’ Crowder said. “It’s a dream come true to play in the NBA.
“I really stamped my NBA mark here and I can go up from here. I just need to keep working hard, let the moment last and get ready to come back and play hard tomorrow.’’
Crowder’s offensive performance was of little surprise to coach Rick Carlisle.
“He was the Big East Player of the Year (last season), so he’s a good offensive player,’’ Carlisle said. “The reason people love him so much as a prospect is because of his attitude, his
disposition, his toughness.
“He took a charge on (Royce) White the one time – the guy is like a freight train. He just stood there and just flat-out took it through the chest, and when you make a play like that defensively it energizes the team.’’
Crowder, who scored 18 of his point sin the fourth quarter, hopes he’ll have many opportunities this season to energize the Mavs.
“It’s an honor to play for the Mavericks and to put on this uniform,’’ Crowder said. “You’re playing for those guys in the locker room and the organization.
“I came into camp knowing I had to improve on my outside shooting and be more consistent. To get minutes on this team I need to be able to stretch the floor, and that’s what I’ve been trying to work on and that’s what the coaches have been working me with and trying to get better every day.’’
-- Dwain Price
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