D-Fenders Fall In Meeting Between D-League’s Top Two Teams

By Joey Ramirez | March 5, 2017

In a possible D-League Finals preview, the D-Fenders were unable to steal back the league’s best record from Raptors 905, which led the entire way in its 111-104 win. Los Angeles was playing without All-Star Justin Harper, who had been called up to the Philadelphia 76ers, and its opponent took advantage by leading by as many as 18 points.

Player of the Game
Travis Wear: The UCLA product took advantage of filling Harper’s spot in the starting lineup by pouring in a game-high 24 points. Wear also made it a double-double with 10 rebounds and knocked down a pair of 3-pointers.

Nwaba Watch
David Nwaba — who has been called up to the Los Angeles Lakers — was assigned back to the D-Fenders for this game and didn’t disappoint. With his new head coach, Luke Walton, in attendance, Nwaba went to work for 20 points on 8-of-9 shooting. The Cal Poly product did his damage in limited playing time, as he only spent 25 minutes on the floor.

Prospect Watch
Vander Blue (2): The former Lakers call-up continued to impress offensively by providing his team 23 points and six assists. He added eight points in the fourth quarter as the D-Fenders pulled the game within five points, but they were unable to fully reel in their opponent.

Josh Magette (14):
It was a rough outing for Magette, who was saddled with foul trouble and ended the night one away from fouling out. He shot an unsightly 1-of-10 from the field, yet still managed to direct his team to the tune of a dozen assists.

Key Stat
8: Members of Raptors 905 who scored in double figures. It was an offensive explosion for the visitors, who shot 51.2 percent from the field. They were led by a pair of NBA-experienced players, as Bruno Coboclo and Edy Tavares both notched 16 points.

Looking Ahead
The D-Fenders have about a week to prepare for their next game, as Reno will visit Toyota Sports Center on Friday at 7:30 p.m. The Bighorns have won just two of their last 10 games, but they do have the services of the D-League’s fourth-highest scorer, Lamar Patterson (24.1 ppg) and 15th-ranked prospect Gary Neal.

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