MORAGA, Calif. -- Matthew Dellavedova has never needed to be a big point producer to be the most impactful player on the court.
On Saturday, the native of Maryborough, Victoria, Australia enjoyed one of his best offensive efforts of the season, scoring 23 points in a 77-42 win over Portland.
To hear Dellavedova tell it, the scoring is nice but not necessary. Setting up a teammate to score works equally well, and leads to just as many wins as if he collected the points himself.
"I thought I'd been playing good all-around games but obviously not shooting it as well as I'd like to," Dellavedova said. "I've been getting extra shots up and they went in tonight. You've just got to keep confident."
But, having fought through a few rough shooting nights over his past couple of games, Dellavedova's stroke was in fine form Saturday. He finished 7 of 12 from the floor, and went 5 of 9 from 3-point distance.
He hit three of his first four shots, with two of those coming from behind the arc. Coming off screens or stepping back to create separation, it was clear early that Dellavedova was ready to shoulder the scoring load.
"We've played pretty well, but Matt hasn't shot the ball well for a little while. He's a good shooter. It's not like he's forcing shots. He's missed some good looks. He's played very right."
Without even having to score, Dellavedova has done everything else right. He recently enjoyed a two-game stretch where he had 21 assists and no turnovers, and he continues to be one of the premier point guards and floor generals in the nation.
As others have stepped up to shoulder the scoring load, Dellavedova has had plenty of help offensively. But, make no mistake, for the Gaels to be at their absolute best, games like Saturday's will be a key component.
"We're at our best when he's shooting the ball well," Bennett said. "It was good to see it from him. He's been working on it."