LAS VEGAS -- With top inside threat Bernard James back home, the Dallas Mavericks got beat up again on the boards Tuesday night and went on to drop an 82-75 decision to the NBA D-League Select in the Las Vegas Summer League at the Thomas & Mack Center.
With losses in their last two games, the Mavs are now 1-2 in summer league play after opening the summer league last Saturday with a 76-73 win over the Sacramento Kings.
Josh Akognon led the Mavs with 20 points, Jae Crowder collected 14 points, Ricky Ledo tallied 11, and Gal Mekel finished with seven points and nine assists. Kyle Weaver led the NBA D-League team with 15 points.
The Mavs started out as though they were going to run all over the D-League squad. Behind some brisk passes from Mekel, the Mavs bolted to a 26-15 lead after the first period.
Mekel produced all seven of the assists the Mavs had in the opening quarter, and also added six points and a pair of steals. But he only contributed one point and two assists the rest of the game as the defense stiffen and opportunties got scarce.
After the first period, the D-League team put on a defensive surge and crawled back to within 37-34 of the Mavs at the half.
The game was tied at 57-all entering the fourth period before the D-League team held off the Mavs at the end.
Dallas played their second straight game without James, who flew home Tuesday for personal reasons. James also missed this past Sunday's game with an illness.
The Mavs did not say if James would return to play in any of the remaining summer league games in Las Vegas. In the double-elimination tournament version of the summer league, the Mavs are assured of playing at least two more games.
With no James around to protect the paint, the NBA D-League squad won the rebounding battle, 38-25.
-- Dwain Price
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