D-Fenders’ Comeback Halted By OKC

By Joey Ramirez | February 12, 2017

In a season full of insane comebacks, D-Fenders coach Coby Karl felt that “basketball karma” finally caught up with his dramatic D-Fenders squad on Saturday night. Los Angeles fell behind by as many as 26 points only to charge forward and tie the game with less than five minutes left. However, Oklahoma City — which trails only the D-Fenders in the Western Conference standings — steadied itself by ending the game on a 9-3 run for a 134-128 victory.

Player of the Game
Josh Magette: The D-League’s assists leader controlled the game with both his shot and his passing, finishing with a career-high 31 points and 11 dimes. Magette — who will compete in his first All-Star Game next week — knocked down six 3-pointers while only sitting for four minutes of game time.

Prospect Watch
Vander Blue (1):
The recently-named top prospect of the D-League once again proved why he is deserving of that title. Blue dropped 29 points — padding the third-best average in the league — while hitting four 3-pointers along the way. Like Magette, he also got involved with the other aspects of his game, pitching in five assists and five steals in 40 minutes.

Key Stat
3: D-Fenders who came off the bench. L.A. found itself shorthanded with bigs Travis Wear (left ankle sprain) and David Ayres (personal reasons) unavailable. Thus, it had to rely on its All-Star trio of Magette, Blue and Justin Harper (20 points). But rookie David Nwaba was just as impressive as any of his decorated teammates, piling up a career-high 29 points while also providing six rebounds and three steals. However, OKC had even more offense on its side, shooting 57.0 percent from the field while scoring 66 points in the paint.

Looking Ahead
The D-Fenders have no time to rest, as they will host Austin on Sunday at 5 p.m. PT. The Spurs currently sit two games below .500, but boast a top talent in No. 7 prospect Hollis Thompson, who has played the past four seasons as a member of the Philadelphia 76ers.

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