D-Fenders Duo Propels Los Angeles Past Northern Arizona

By T.C. Greene | March 4, 2017

PRESCOTT VALLEY, Arizona – The Los Angeles D-Fenders defeated the Northern Arizona Suns on Friday at the Prescott Valley Event Center, 107-94. The victory, aided in large part by 46 combined points from veterans Vander Blue and Josh Magette, pushed L.A. to a Western Conference-leading 29-10 on the season.

After a week in which all-star Justin Harper and breakout rookie David Nwaba each received call-ups to NBA squads, Blue scored a game-high 25 points, to go along with six rebounds and five assists. L.A. outscored the Suns by 25 points with Blue on the court. Likewise, all-star point guard Magette totaled 21 points, nine assists, four rebounds and two steals in an all-around performance. Forward Travis Wear finished with 18 points and a career-high 17 rebounds, good for his fifth double-double, while DeJuan Blair tallied his first double-double as a D-Fender with 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Northern Arizona (18-20) was led by 19 points from forward Elijah Millsap, who also tallied eight rebounds and three assists. Guard Askia Booker did a bit of everything before finishing with 11 points, nine rebounds and eight assists. Meanwhile, Xavier Silas (17 points), Shaquille Harrison (15 points, eight rebounds) and Joe Jackson (15 points) each finished in double figures.

The D-Fenders never trailed on Friday and were tied with Northern Arizona only once – at the 10:56 mark of the first quarter. After that, Los Angeles never looked back, eventually leading by as much as 22 points in the third frame.

The visitors used a pesky defensive effort to get the win, led largely by Speedy Smith. Starting in only his fourth game of the year, the second-year guard notched a career-high five steals to lead the D-Fenders defensive unit. Overall, L.A. used an opponent season-high-tying 22 turnovers to score 28 points.

The D-Fenders will be back in action tomorrow against the Eastern Conference-leading Raptors 905, with tipoff set for 6:30 p.m. PT at the Toyota Sports Center.