D-Fenders Roll Past Suns in Pacific Division Clash

By Joey Ramirez | December 31, 2016

The D-Fenders expanded their lead in the Pacific Division standings by taking care of second-place Northern Arizona, 115-105. Led by nine assists from backup guard Julian Jacobs, the D-Fenders’ offense clicked all night long, as they shot 55.0 percent from the field and 8-of-14 on 3-pointers.

Player of the Game
Vander Blue: The D-League’s fifth-ranked prospect strung together an efficient night by continuing to attack the defense for 31 points while hitting 13-of-16 on free throws. He was particularly effective in the third quarter, scoring 13 of his points and keying a 14-4 run that put the D-Fenders up by 18.

Prospect Watch

Justin Harper (17):
No stranger to double-doubles, Harper added another to the collection by reaching 15 points and 10 rebounds despite playing with four fouls. He also shot 7-of-12 from the field and added four rebounds on the offensive glass.

It was an efficient night for Lakers assignee Ivica Zubac, who reached a double-double with 17 points and 10 rebounds while shooting 8-of-12 from the field. The NBA’s 32nd-overall draft pick opened up his offensive arsenal by hitting a couple hook shots and even draining a straightaway 3-pointer.

Key Stat
19: Points scored by Northern Arizona in the second quarter. After falling behind in the opening frame, the D-Fenders took over in this one by outscoring the Suns by 10. Northern Arizona shot just 8-of-23 in the second while L.A. hit 12-of-21, as Jacobs had six assists in this quarter alone.

Looking Ahead
The D-Fenders will head up north for a quick, single-game road trip to Reno on Jan. 3. Los Angeles beat the Bighorns in their first meeting on Dec. 8 by racking up 128 points behind the efforts of Blue (22 points) and Josh Magette (15 assists).

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