GREENSBORO, NC (March 20, 2018) – The South Bay Lakers dropped a close one to the Greensboro Swarm as they fell, 110-108 (box score), on Tuesday night. Thomas Bryant scored 27 points and Gary Payton II added 24 of his own, but the Lakers (28-20) missed a third of their free throws in the loss. Damien Wilkins led the Swarm (16-32) with 19 points, six rebounds and six assists.
The Lakers came out of the gates on fire, as their first six made baskets were all from beyond the arc. South Bay would finish the quarter with seven threes, but the Swarm were able to keep pace as the two teams finished the first quarter knotted at 26 apiece. Greensboro pushed ahead in the second quarter behind Cat Barber’s nine points, to give the Swarm a 56-52 halftime lead. Payton II scored 10 points in the second quarter to keep his team close going into the break.
Bryant scored 10 points in the third period, but the Swarm extended their lead, 86-77, through three, as John Dawson scored eight points in the quarter for Greensboro. The Swarm led by as many as 10 points in the fourth, but the Lakers continued to fight back, as they cut the deficit to two with 30 seconds remaining. South Bay forced a turnover on the ensuing possession and Scott Machado hit a layup to tie the game. Marcus Paige then hit a floater with five seconds remaining to put his team on top, but Payton II was fouled just before the buzzer. However, he was unable to convert from the line and the Swarm grabbed the win.
Wilkins’ productive night paced Greensboro as Dawson also added 19 points in the win. Barber and Paige each scored 17 points, while Luke Petrasek finished with 12 points and Mangok Mathiang added eight points and nine rebounds.
Bryant finished with 27 points and eight rebounds as he hit 5-8 shots from three-point range. Payton II played well off the bench with 24 points, five rebounds and three steals, while Alex Caruso nearly grabbed a double-double with 16 points and nine assists. Machado and Andre Ingram each finished with 15 points, but the Lakers shot only 41.8 percent from the field in their second consecutive loss.
The South Bay Lakers will travel to take on the Memphis Hustle on Friday, March 23 at 5:00 from the Landers Center. South Bay won each of its two previous matchups with the Hustle this season in El Segundo.
The NBA G League’s South Bay Lakers, the first franchise in G League history to be owned by an NBA team (Los Angeles Lakers), returns for its 11th season of competition in 2017-18. The Lakers franchise has established itself as a top producer of NBA-ready talent, totaling 27 NBA Call-Ups and developing 21 Lakers assignment players since the inaugural 2006-07 season. The Lakers have claimed three division titles and have twice competed in the NBA G League Finals, most recently in 2015-16.