South Bay Lakers Drop Western Conference Finals

By Noah Camarena | April 5, 2018

CEDAR PARK, TX – The South Bay Lakers were eliminated from the playoffs as they fell to the Austin Spurs, 104-93, on Thursday night. Gary Payton II led the Lakers with 28 points, 11 rebounds, two steals and six blocks. Derrick White finished with 35 points to lead the Spurs.

Austin took a slight 27-24 lead into the second quarter as Nick Johnson scored 10 points in the opening frame. Payton II led the Lakers with 13 first quarter points to keep his team close. The two teams went into the half tied at 51, as White led Austin with 17 first half points.

The Spurs pulled away in the third to take a 78-68 lead through three. Olivier Hanlan led the Spurs with 10 points in the frame and South Bay shot only 18.2 percent in the period as they fell behind. The Lakers never stopped fighting, but ultimately could not come back for the win.

White’s 35 points led the Spurs to the Finals and Darrun Hilliard added 20 points of his own. Johnson finished the contest with 19 points and Hanlan also finished in double figures with 13 points off the bench.

Payton II’s double-double paced the Lakers and Alex Caruso, appearing in his third game in three days, added 20 points off the bench. Thomas Bryant tallied a double-double with 10 points and 10 rebounds as Scott Machado did a little bit of everything with nine points, eight rebounds and five assists.

The South Bay Lakers finished the year with a 28-22 regular season record. Coby Karl won the team’s first Coach of the Month award in November and Travis Wear became the 20th member of the organization to receive an NBA Call Up when he signed with the Los Angeles Lakers. Thomas Bryant finished second in Rookie of the Year voting, while Alex Caruso and Demarcus Holland finished second and third, respectively, in Defensive Player of the Year.