SALT LAKE CITY, UT– The South Bay Lakers got back in the win column on Monday when they beat the Salt Lake City Stars, 106-97 (box score), to avoid their first losing streak of the season. South Bay (11-3) had seven players score in double figures as they won without two-way guards Vander Blue and Alex Caruso who were both out with injuries. Thomas Bryant led the way with 20 points, six rebounds and three assists, while Demarcus Holland scored a career-high 14 points to put away the Stars (3-12) for their 11th win of the year.
South Bay got out to a 29-24 lead after the first quarter as Holland tallied seven points in the first frame. Both teams struggled to score in the second quarter, but the Lakers went into halftime with a 44-37 lead behind a balanced scoring attack. Taylor Braun and Tony Bradley combined for 15 points to keep the Stars within striking distance.
The Lakers maintained their seven-point lead after three, 73-66, as Bryant scored ten points in the frame to lead South Bay. Scott Machado scored nine points in the fourth quarter and the Lakers hit 5-7 from beyond the arc to grab the victory on the road.
Salt Lake City was led by 21 points from Braun and a double-double (11 points, 12 rebounds) from Bradley. Four other Stars scored in double figures, including Eric Griffin (14 points, five rebounds), Naz Mitrou-Long (12 points, five rebounds), Nate Wolters (12 points, five rebounds, six assists) and Deonte Burton (11 points). The Stars hit all 12 of their free throws but struggled from deep (9-29, .310) in the loss.
South Bay was paced by Bryant’s solid performance, but got valuable contributions all around including 15 points from Stephaun Branch in his first start of the season. Machado added 16 points and seven assists off the bench while Holland (14 points), Travis Wear (12 points, 10 rebounds), V.J. Beachem (12 points, four rebounds) and Andre Ingram (10 points, four rebounds) all reached double-digits for South Bay.
The South Bay Lakers will return home to face the Westchester Knicks on Friday, December 15 at 7:00 from the UCLA Health Training Center. The Lakers are 3-0 all-time against the Knicks.
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. Last season, the Lakers returned to the playoffs for the third time in the last four years and produced the league MVP in guard Vander Blue. The Lakers have claimed three division titles and have twice competed in the NBA G League Finals, most recently in 2015-16.