DES MOINES, Iowa – The Los Angeles D-Fenders defeated the Iowa Energy on Friday at the Wells Fargo Arena, 101-97, completing a season-sweep of the Western Conference rival.
Los Angeles (31-13) had five players finish in double figures, led by DeJuan Blair’s 19 points, nine rebounds and three steals. Guard Josh Magette followed closely with 17 points, eight assists and six rebounds. Meanwhile, Justin Harper (15 points, six rebounds), Troy DeVries (14 points) and Andre Ingram (10 points, four rebounds) rounded out the players with at least 10 points.
Iowa (11-33) was paced by a 27-point, five-rebound performance from JaKarr Sampson off the bench, and center Deyonta Davis recorded the day’s only double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds. Five Energy players scored in double digits.
The first quarter included three lead changes and two ties as each team fought for control, but Blair scored nine of his points in the first 12 minutes to help the D-Fenders escape with a lead. L.A.’s balanced offensive attack continued to show itself early in the second frame, as each D-Fenders player had scored by halftime. The visitors led 52-45 at the break.
After a closely-contested third quarter in which the D-Fenders enjoyed a one-point advantage, Iowa put together a run in the final frame, even pulling to within two points of the lead on two separate occasions. But the D-Fenders relied on the leadership of veterans Blair and Magette, who each scored eight points in the fourth to seal an L.A. win.
Overall, the D-Fenders led for more than 42 minutes of the game, despite shooting a combined 37.6 percent from the field on the day. L.A. pulled down 16 offensive rebounds while shooting 23-of-27 (.852) from the free throw line to compensate for the poor shooting effort. Turnovers were also critical, as Iowa doubled the D-Fenders in that category, 20-10.
L.A. closes out its road swing tomorrow against the Sioux Falls Skyforce, with tipoff currently set for 5 p.m. at the Sanford Pentagon.