For the third straight game it all game down to the final minute — and for the third straight game the D-Fenders pulled out the victory. Los Angeles trailed by nine with five minutes left but quickly mounted a furious comeback.
Backup point guard Speedy Smith provided the heroics, hitting a driving hook shot with 47.0 seconds left to take a 99-98 lead. Then the D-Fenders used defense and free throws the rest of the way to capture a 104-102 win over the Oklahoma City Blue.
Player of the Game
Justin Harper: The D-League’s 23rd-ranked prospect provided the firepower, scoring a team-high 23 points while knocking down five 3-pointers. The former Detroit Pistons call-up was particularly hot late in the game, scoring 11 points on 4-of-4 shooting in the fourth quarter.
Vander Blue (4): Despite an uncharacteristically poor shooting clip, the two-time All-Star nonetheless piled up 21 points thanks to his proficiency in drawing fouls and making them count, hitting 10-of-12 free throws. Blue shot just 5-of-15 from the field and 1-of-6 on 3-pointers, but also made some big plays on the other end with four steals.
Josh Magette (24):
Like Blue, Magette had a strangely off night with his shot, going 3-of-11. However, the D-League’s assists leader still left his mark with an 11-point, 10-assist double-double, and also hit a big-time 3-pointer with two minutes left to bring his team within one.
64.7: Percentage shot by the D-Fenders in the fourth quarter. L.A. was feeling it late, going 11-of-17 from the field while Harper and Smith led the way by hitting all seven of their combined shots. This blistering period was necessary for the D-Fenders to overcome their prior struggles, as they shot just 4-of-26 in the second quarter.
The D-Fenders will continue their five-game homestand by hosting Canton on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. The Charge have been hot lately, winning eight of their last 10 games while being led by the D-League’s third-leading scorer and seventh-ranked prospect, Quinn Cook (25.3 ppg).