When you’re hot you’re hot.
Rookie guard Dennis Smith put his shooting skills on display and fashioned a 25-point night as the Dallas Mavericks chased away the Sacramento Kings 82-76 in Thursday’s second round of the Las Vegas summer league basketball playoffs.
The win makes the Mavericks 4-0 in Vegas and keeps them perfect through nine games this summer. It also advances them to Saturday’s quarterfinal tilt with the 4-0 Boston Celtics, who blew out Golden State 93-66 Thursday.
Against Sacramento, Smith was on target from the start, pumping in eight first-quarter points as the Mavericks reversed a 10-1 deficit to start the game and led 23-15 after one period. Johnathan Motley of Baylor scored the quarter’s final five points on a late layup and a buzzer-beating halfcourt heave.
The Mavericks pushed their lead to as many as 14 points before going to intermission ahead 41-31. Smith had 15 points at the break.
Rookie Justin Jackson kept Sacramento within shouting distance virtually by himself. Through three quarters, the rookie from North Carolina had 21 of the Kings’ 54 points. He got no help from summer scoring leader Buddy Hield or rookie Frank Mason, neither of whom played, and first-round pick De’Aaron Fox was scoreless through seven minutes before leaving for good with a sore ankle.
Jackson finished with 25 points while 6-foot-7 guard Luis Montero, who played with Dallas in the Orlando summer league, contributed 13 points and a game-high nine rebounds.
Smith appeared to spend the first three quarters intent on scoring, forsaking the rest of his game. But by the end of the night the numbers were there across the board.
Smith finished with 25 points on 7 of 15 shooting, including 4 of 8 on 3-pointers. He shared the team lead with seven rebounds, and had three steals and two assists and four turnovers.
Motley contributed 15 points on 6 of 9 shooting and Carrick Felix rounded out Dallas’ double-digit scorers with 11 points.