By Dan Savage
July 5, 2017
ORLANDO – The Dallas Mavericks headed into Day 5 of Mountain Dew Orlando Pro Summer League undefeated, and they left the same way.
Brandon Paul erupted for 14 of his game-high 20 points in the first quarter as the Mavericks steamrolled the Oklahoma City Thunder, 96-75, on Wednesday.
“Obviously we were making shots, but more than that, we were really engaged defensively,” Dallas Summer League Head Coach Mike Weinar said. “We’ve struggled in the first quarter – we haven’t had great starts here in Orlando – but we got off to a good start and once we got through that, we actually continued to guard.”
Paul’s scorching first quarter helped set the tone for Dallas. He went a blistering 4-for-5 from downtown in the first, including a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to end the period.
“I was getting a lot of good looks,” Paul explained. “I was moving off the ball and my teammates did a great job of finding me in spots where I can score and be successful.”
Luis Montero was equally impressive from downtown. The former Westchester Community College standout drained all five of his attempts from beyond the arc.
“I’ve been shooting the ball, but I have to take more shots,” Montero said. “Today I felt great shooting the ball and made more shots.”
It was another solid performance for Jameel Warney on the interior as he tallied 14 points and five rebounds.
Chinese Basketball Association star Ding Yanyuhang scored 11 as he continues to look more comfortable on the court.
“He’s definitely a big part of our nucleus,” Paul said of his teammate Ding. “He’s a guy who can put the ball in the basket, he’s smart and his basketball IQ is pretty high.”
Dakari Johnson put together another impressive offensive outing. Oklahoma City’s former second round selection went 8-for-11 from the floor on his way to 18 points.
Semaj Christon was once again effective running the point for Oklahoma City, tallying 16 points and eight assists.
Both Dallas (4-0) and Oklahoma City (2-2) are awaiting the results from the rest of Wednesday’s action to determine their game times and opponents for Thursday’s Championship Day.