By Dan Savage
July 6, 2017
ORLANDO – The Dallas Mavericks finished the 2017 Mountain Dew Orlando Pro Summer League as the perfect Cinderella story.
Despite no high draft picks on their roster, losing some of their top contributors to injury as well as to other squads in other summer leagues, they still found a way to finish the week undefeated as league champions.
Johnathan Motley drained a game-winning jumper with 0.3 seconds left in overtime as the Mavericks edged the Pistons, 83-81, in a thrilling summer league championship game.
“This display of effort by our guys was incredible,” Dallas Summer League Head Coach Mike Weinar explained. “Coming together as a cohesive unit (in spite of) guys going out left and right.”
Motley who signed a two-way contract with the Mavericks earlier this week, finished the contest with 18 points and a game-high 10 rebounds as he put together his best performance of the week.
“It means the world to me,” Motley said. “I’ve been limited on minutes, because of my knee and they’ve been holding my minutes down a little bit, so I got the chance to play a lot today and do some really good things.”
Dwight Buycks capped off a sensational summer session with a contest-best 28-point performance to go along with six assists and five rebounds. Dallas’ point guard scored four of his team’s points in the extra frame as he continued to do an outstanding job of leading his squad.
“As a group we had to fight for each other and make plays for each other and that kind of got us going,” Buycks said. “We knew we had nothing but to fight and play with effort and that’s what we did.”
Chinese Basketball Association star Ding Yanyuhang closed out his Orlando summer stint with a 13-point performance.
Luke Kennard and Pierre Jackson made big plays for the Detroit Pistons throughout the week and this contest was no different.
Kennard continued to display poise beyond his years. The No. 12 overall pick in the 2017 NBA Draft, went a scorching 9-for-15 from the floor and knocked down all three of his attempts from downtown.
He scored all of the Pistons seven points in overtime, including a triple with 6.7 seconds left that tied the game at 81-81.
“He’s not afraid of the big moment at all,” Pistons Summer League Head Coach Bob Beyer said.
Jackson, who’s done a magnificent job running point for Detroit throughout the week, scored 22 points and dished out a game-high eight assists.