MISSISSAUGA, ON– The South Bay Lakers finished the 2018 NBA G League Showcase undefeated as they beat the Lakeland Magic, 94-86 (box score), on Saturday afternoon. Alex Caruso led all scorers with 22 points and Travis Wear grabbed his eighth double-double of the season for South Bay (16-10) in the victory. Lakeland (14-11) was paced by 16 points from Jamel Artis.
A low-scoring first quarter found Lakeland ahead, 18-17, after one. Thomas Bryant scored six points and Wear attacked the boards with six rebounds in the first period. South Bay was able to take the slight 47-45 lead at the half, as Bryant imposed his will to reach 13 points while Caruso scored all 11 of his first half points in the second. TJ Price (10 points) and Arits (nine points) led all Magic scorers through the first two quarters.
Lakeland regained the lead after the third quarter, 73-71, behind eight points off the bench from Xavier Gibson. Demarcus Holland put on a show in the third as he was perfect from the field (4-4) to reach 10 points in the period. South Bay held the Magic to 13 points and an opponent low shooting percentage in a quarter (18.2%) in the fourth, as Caruso and Wear combined for 13 points together, to ensure that the Lakers would finish the Showcase with an unblemished record.
Artis (16 points, five rebounds) and Khem Birch (15 points, five rebounds) were the only Lakeland starters to reach double figures as the Lakers held the Magic to 36.0% shooting, a season low for a Lakers opponent. Gibson (15 points) and Price (13 points) also reached double digits for Lakeland.
Caruso’s all-around performance (22 points, five rebounds, eight assists, two steals) and Wear’s double-double (14 points, 12 rebounds) guided the Lakers to the victory as Bryant pitched in 15 points and seven rebounds of his own. Stephaun Branch and Holland each scored 12 points, while Scott Machado paced the second unit with six points, six rebounds and five assists.
The South Bay Lakers return to the UCLA Health Training Center for their first home game of the new year when they face the Iowa Wolves on Wednesday, January 17 at 7:00.
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 19 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.