With the season winding down, the Texas Legends are surging, doing everything in their power to reach the playoffs during an impressive stretch of games. The team has now won six consecutive contests, and sit just three games back of the Iowa Energy for the eighth and final playoff spot. Their most recent win came against the Maine Red Claws on Friday night, unloading 139 points - their second highest mark of the season - while receiving contributions from players top-to-bottom.
Eight different Legends scored double-figures, but none came out as hot as James Nunnally. The forward dropped a game-high 35 points on 12-of-17 shooting while adding three rebounds, three assists and two steals. He also knocked down 5-of-7 three-point attempts.
After an extremely productive four seasons at UC Santa Barbara, the 23-year-old wasn't selected in the 2012 NBA Draft and bounced around overseas and in both the D-League and the NBA. Earlier this season, Nunnally finally received his opportunity in the league. He appeared in four games with the Atlanta Hawks, before the team opted not to re-sign him following two 10-day contracts.
He spent the first 75 games of his D-League career with the Bakersfield Jam, but was then traded to the Legends on February 20 in a three-team deal. On the season, Nunnally is averaging 17.9 points, 4.6 rebounds and 3.6 assists.
Below are highlights from Nunnally's outburst:
Guard Shane Larkin recorded his second double-double in just his fourth D-League game, scoring 21 points and dishing out eleven assists to help the Legends secure the victory.
The 2013 ACC Player of the Year out of Miami was selected as the No. 18 overall pick in last June's draft by the Atlanta Hawks, before he was traded to the Dallas Mavericks. Larkin has appeared in 42 games for the Mavs, but experiences limited playing time. Before tip-off on Friday, he was re-assigned to Texas for the fourth time this season. With the Legends, the 21-year-old is averaging 15.3 points, 8.3 assists and 5.3 rebounds.
Below are highlights from Larkin's solid performance:
Despite the loss, Red Claws guard Frank Gaines tallied a team-high 34 points, shooting 11-of-17 from the field and adding four rebounds. Former NBA first-round pick Daniel Orton contributed 19 points while blocking five shots.
There are just seven games remaining for the Legends to make their late regular-season run worthwhile. Though the odds may be against them, Nunnally and his teammates must continue to step up if they wish to have any real shot of extending their season deep into April.