The Texas Legends welcomed to town the Santa Cruz Warriors on Wednesday night trying to avoid their 5th loss in 6 games. The game was a battle of back and forth, which saw 17 lead changes and 9 ties, but the Legends were unable to keep pace, falling 110-107.
The Legends started the affair on a high note getting 10 points each in the first quarter by PG Mike James and SF Renaldo Balkman. The Legends led at the end of the first quarter by a score of 31-29.
In the 2nd quarter, Santa Cruz definitely made their presence felt. The Warriors played stellar defense, holding the Legends to 37% shooting. Big man center Ognjen Kuzmic contributed in a big way as well. Kuzmic had 9 points in the period to lead all scorers on the floor. The Warriors led at halftime by a score of 58-51.
In the 3rd quarter, it was a game of “anything you can do I can do better.” There were a number of ties and lead changes throughout the entire quarter. To top off the “anything you can do I can do better” phrase, SG Eric Griffin hit a buzzer beating bucket from downtown to cut the Santa Cruz lead over Texas to 86-84.
In the 4th quarter, Santa Cruz seemed too have found their groove. They went up by 11 with 6:08 to go before Texas called a timeout. The game was starting to look over for Texas but the Legends managed to go on a 10-1 run over the course of the next 3:28. Texas was finally able to tie up the game when Mike James slung a beautiful pass to Renaldo Balkman for the layup. The score was now tied at 101 with 2 minutes left.
With less than 2 minutes to go Balkman was able to give Texas a 103-101 lead, and it was starting to look like the Legends would close this thing out. The Warriors had different plans. Santa Cruz would go on a 6-0 run to put themselves up 107-103. After a few trips to the free throw line, the Legends were put in a position where the score was 108-107 with 9.3 seconds left and Warriors’ forward Taylor Griffin headed to the line. Griffin made both free throws to give Santa Cruz a 110-107 lead.
Mike James would take the ball up court for the final 9 seconds with no timeouts and tried to throw down a layup while looking to get fouled, but he came away with nothing out of it. The game was over and Santa Cruz was able to send the Legends to their 5th loss in 6 games.
Texas received an outstanding performance by Eric Griffin with 24 points, 9 rebounds and 6 assists. Mike James even contributed a triple-double with 19 points, 10 rebounds, and 11 assists. Santa Cruz’s Elliot Williams was just too much for Texas to handle as he had 33 points, 2 rebounds, 5 assists, and 2 steals.
The Texas Legends will try to redeem themselves this weekend as they play the Oklahoma City Blue Friday night in Frisco and Sunday afternoon in Oklahoma. The Legends will be looking to take the lead in the regular season series between the two. Right now OKC leads Texas 2-1 in the season series.