Just two days after 22-year-old video coordinator Adam Cave was tragically killed in a motorcycle accident, the D-Fenders honored the memory of their beloved friend in the best way they could — by beating the Reno Bighorns 128-118.
“It’s been an unbelievably tough 48 hours for us,” head coach Coby Karl said. “Adam was literally probably the most productive and happiest guy on our staff. He had a great relationship with everyone.
“We’re just thinking about his family and we’re gonna miss him a lot. I think (the players) really did show up for him tonight and he means a lot to us.”
Player of the Game
Vander Blue: The D-League’s No. 2 prospect just continues to provide buckets, as he led his team with 22 points while also collecting five rebounds. After the game, Blue chose to pay tribute to Cave.
“Every day he came with a smile on his face,” Blue said. “He cared more about us than anything in the world. It’s a tough loss for us. He was my brother. He was my family member. But there are lessons to be learned. Now we know you can’t take anything for granted. Tomorrow’s not promised. The next play’s not promised. You never know.
“We’re just all trying to help each other get over it and handle it the best way we can and come out here and play the best we can for Adam. I know he’s more happy than anybody today about the win.”
Ivica Zubac: It was a quick night for the Lakers’ No. 32 draft pick, as he fouled out in only 21 minutes. Zubac was unsatisfied with his performance despite tallying a respectable 12 points and eight rebounds considering the foul trouble.
Justin Harper (15):
The former member of the Orlando Magic and Detroit Pistons provided plenty on the scoreboard and glass, collecting 13 points and 10 rebounds. He also added five assists while hitting a trio of 3-pointers.
Josh Magette (21):
It was an unbelievably rough shooting night for Magette, who hit just 1-of-12 from the field. However, he was still a net positive for his team, piling up 15 assists to only three turnovers.
60: Points scored by the D-Fenders’ bench, which outscored Reno’s by 24. Jeff Ayres was the ideal sixth man, scoring 19 points on 7-of-7 shooing with eight rebounds, while Travis Wear (18 points, six rebounds) and Troy DeVries (12 points, four 3-pointers) also got in on the action.
On Saturday at 6:30 p.m., the D-Fenders will host the Austin Spurs, who have been led by the 29th pick of the NBA Draft, Dejounte Murray’s 19.5 points, 7.5 rebounds and 7.5 assists per game on assignment from San Antonio. Austin also touts the D-League’s 11th-ranked prospect, Cory Jefferson, who played a handful of games with the Phoenix Suns last year.