DALLAS -- Jae Crowder got both his joy and his confidence back after his one-game stint in the D-League on Thursday night.
Sent down to play for the Texas Legends, Crowder collected 23 poins, 18 rebounds, 10 assists and two steals to help his squad to a 121-103 victory over the Los Angeles D-Fenders. So what specifically did Crowder take from his one-game outing with the Legends?
"Confidence, knowing that I still can play even though when I’m up here I'm in a limited role,'' said Crowder, who played some point forward for the Legends. "And that’s due to the guys I'm playing around – much respected.
"But knowing I still can play and play the way I’m capable of playing with the ball in my hands.''
The Mavs sent Bernard James, Shane Larkin and Crowder to play for the Legends, but recalled all three Friday morning while sending guard Ricky Ledo back to the Legends. Crowder, Larkin and James will be in uniform tonight at 7:30 when the Mavs entertain the Chicago Bulls at American Airlines Center.
When asked if received any words of encouragemnts from Mavs coach Rick Carlisle after his monster triple-double, Crowder said: "Not really. Good job, I'll see you in the morning. That's Carlisle.
"But other coaches and Donnie (Nelson, the Mavs' president of basketball operations) and everybody else were very appreciative of me going down and playing the way I played and getting the win, so that’s good.''
Besides Crowder, James had 38 points, 18 rebounds and four blocks against the D-Fenders, and Larkin finished with nine points, five rebounds and nine assists.
"Its just a chance for them to play and to work on their game and to maintain a rhythm, conditioning during the course of the season where right now those three guys haven't been in the rotation,'' Carlisle said. "But on this team everybody is live and got to be ready to play every single night -- this helps them stay ready to play and helps them get better.
"The team won, so that’s the first thing I looked at. They been struggling, so I was glad to see them win the game. Some guys did some good things, so it’s a positive.''
Crowder hopes his performance against the D-Fenders will lead to more playing time with the Mavs.
"I can’t really expect anything at this point.,'' Crowder said. "We've got 20-something games left and we’re playing good bask as a unit.
"Wayne is playing great, so whenever my number is called I’ll be ready.''
-- Dwain Price
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