Rebound woes drop Mavericks to 1-1 in summer league

Posted Sunday, Jul. 14, 2013  comments  Print Reprints

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With no “Sarge” available to take charge of the boards Sunday afternoon at Cox Pavilion, the Dallas Mavericks had difficulties staying with the Charlotte Bobcats.

Center Bernard “Sarge” James sat out the game against the Bobcats with an undisclosed illness. The Mavs could have used his menacing presence as they were pounded on the boards in the Bobcats’ 86-80 victory in Dallas’ second game of the NBA Summer League.

The Mavs (1-1) next play on Tuesday night at 9:30 against their NBA D-League team.

In Saturday’s win over Sacramento, James picked up a team-high nine rebounds and blocked a game-high three shots. Without James on Sunday, the Mavs recorded just four blocks and were outrebounded by a wide 39-23 margin.

“He’s just a guy that can rebound the ball,” Mavs summer league head coach Monte Mathis said. “We shoot 43 percent from the field and only get two offensive rebounds.

“Our big guys have got to do a better job of crashing the boards, and Sarge would have helped us with that.”

In Saturday’s game, the Mavs fell behind by 14 points before rallying for a 76-73 victory over the Kings. Against the Bobcats, the Mavs trailed 50-25 at one point late in the first half.

But no such dramatic comeback occurred this time, although a 3-pointer and a three-point play from Jae Crowder trimmed the Charlotte lead to 71-65 with 5:38 remaining in the game.

The Mavs, though, couldn’t get any closer and appeared to expend a lot of energy just trying to get back into the game.

“We just got to have better energy to start the game,” Mathis said. “I don’t know if it was a little bit of fatigue going five straight days.

“But like these guys know, in the NBA there are a lot of these situations, four games in five nights, and you’ve got to be ready to play every night. You don’t have time to say I’m a little bit tired. You’ve got to fight through fatigue and when the ball goes up you’ve got to be ready to play.”

Dentmon shines

These pint-sized unheralded Mavs’ point guards know how to make their presence felt.

One day after Josh Akognon scored a game-high 22 points to lead the Mavs to a victory over Sacramento, Justin Dentmon poured in a team-high 18 points during Sunday’s loss to Charlotte.

Dentmon was 5-of-8 from the field, including 2-of-4 from 3-point land in 20 minutes of action.

“He scored the ball and he did what he can do,’’ summer league head coach Monte Mathis said. “He pounded the ball a little too much.

“When we were in our flow offense, we needed to get the ball moving a little bit — I talked to him about that. But he did a good job scoring, and what he did another great job in as he did [Saturday] is he really pressured the ball on defense, and he gets up on the point guard.”

Dentmon, who signed a 10-day contract with the Mavs in March, said performances in the summer league can be skewed because of so many moving parts.

“It’s very difficult, playing with new guys and everybody trying to learn everybody’s comfort zone,” Dentmon said. “That first quarter killed us, but we managed to pick it up in the second half, and that’s how we got going.”

Dwain Price, 817-390-7760 Twitter: @dwainprice

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