South Bay Lakers shell out another win over Maine

By Noah Camarena | February 6, 2018

EL SEGUNDO – The South Bay Lakers grabbed their third straight win as they beat the Maine Red Claws, 121-115 (box score), on Monday night. Alex Caruso and Thomas Bryant came off the bench with 18 points apiece to lead South Bay (21-12) to the victory. The Red Claws (16-19) were paced by L.J. Peak who scored a game-high 37 points.

Gary Payton II led the Lakers in the first quarter with nine points to give South Bay the 30-23 lead through one. A balanced effort paced the Lakers in the second as Stephaun Branch, Scott Machado and Travis Wear each scored seven points in the period. South Bay took a 63-50 lead into the half despite 17 points from Anthony Bennett in the first half.

Daniel Dixon and Peak combined for 22 points in the third to help get Maine back in the game as the two teams were tied at 85 through three. Caruso finished with eight points in the third to lead South Bay. Peak scored 17 points in the final frame alone, but the Lakers repeatedly got to the line, converting 14-17 shots from the charity stripe, to grab the close win.

Peak’s big scoring night kept the Red Claws close, as all five Maine starters scored in double figures. Bennett (22 points, nine rebounds, three steals), Drew Barham (16 points, seven rebounds, six assists), Daniel Dixon (14 points, six assists, three steals) and Devin Williams (12 points, nine rebounds, three steals) finished out the starting five, while Vitto Brown scored 11 points off the bench.

Bryant (18 points, seven rebounds) and Caruso (18 points, seven rebounds, seven assists) provided a scoring punch for the second unit while Machado (17 points, five rebounds, six assists) and Ivica Zubac (17 points, nine rebounds, three blocks) paced the starters. Payton II (15 points, five rebounds, six assists, two steals) continued his all-around play and Wear finished with 14 points after being named the NBA G League Player of the Week earlier in the day. Branch also finished in double figures for South Bay with 12 points off the bench.

The South Bay Lakers hit the road to take on the Reno Bighorns on Wednesday, February 7 at 7:00 from the Reno Events Center. 

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 26 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.