Earlier this week, the Texas Legends snapped a 10 game losing streak in a blowout victory against the L.A. D-Fenders, thanks to some help from a trio of NBA players. Mavericks assignees Jae Crowder, Bernard James and Shane Larkin all played a huge role in the team's win, and were recalled a day later as a result of their best efforts. However, while Bernard James stayed with the team for their showdown with the Chicago Bulls last night, Crowder and Larkin were quickly sent back to Frisco to play in the Legends' second matchup against the L.A. D-Fenders.
Crowder impressed again in this one, putting together another triple-double with 22 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists. Larkin provided a steady hand at the point, flirting with a triple-double himself, with a total of 22 points, 10 rebounds and six assists. Yet without Bernard James in the lineup, they needed another scorer to take down the D-Fenders and P.J. Hairston was the one who stepped up to the plate.
In 35 minutes off the bench, the former Tar Heel scored 36 points on 11-for-18 shooting. He knocked down seven threes, and finished with a +15 in the Legends hard fought overtime leading them to their second straight victory.
After a blazing start to the season, which saw him score a total of 162 points in his first six games as a member of the Legends, Hairston has cooled off significantly as of late. In 11 games last month, the 6-foot-6 shooting guard saw his numbers slide across the board, down from 27.0 points per contest in January to 18.4 in February. He also put up some dismal shooting numbers, knocking down just 39.4 percent of his shots from the field and 32.9 percent of his threes. To no surprise, the Legends struggled mightily in that stretch, losing all but one game in the entire month.
The Legends' Playoff hopes are dwindling away with only 11 games remaining on the schedule, and for Hairston, who is hoping to enter the NBA draft this summer, this may be his final chance to boost his draft stock. After a tumultuous end to his college career, Hairston turned to the D-League so that he could showcase his talent on a nightly basis in front of NBA executives. He's shown an ability to heat up from beyond the arc and has put up some huge game along the way, but general managers may question his consistency after a rough February stretch. Either way, Hairston will undoubtably be looking to end his stint with the Texas Legends on a personal high.